I know that also can mean:

das bedeutet, das heißt (d.h.), mit anderen Worten...

And that beziehungsweise can mean:

oder vielmehr, genauer gesagt, besser gesagt...

Is there any difference then between the two following sentences, or can they be considered interchangeable??

Meine Hobbys, also was ich in meiner Freizeit mache, sind Kochen und Schwimmen.

Meine Hobbys, bzw. was ich in meiner Freizeit mache, sind Kochen und Schwimmen.

  • 1
    We already have some questions regarding “beziehungsweise”, maybe they are helpful.
    – Carsten S
    Sep 26, 2021 at 11:36
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    The use of "beziehungsweise" as a replacement for "besser gesagt" is just lazy, don't do it.
    – HalvarF
    Sep 26, 2021 at 11:53
  • @Carsten S I think I know how to use "beziehungsweise", so I'm questioning whether it can be used interchangeably with "also" in some instances Sep 26, 2021 at 13:13
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    It is sometimes used in the senses that you're citing ("oder vielmehr, genauer gesagt, besser gesagt...") but it actually means "respectively", and using it for other purposes is in most cases just a misuse by people who have some kind of problem with admitting they're correcting themselves or rephrasing.
    – HalvarF
    Sep 26, 2021 at 14:14
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    Das zweite Beispiel würde ich als Relativierung auffassen, etwa in dem Sinne, dass die Person in der Freizeit kocht, aber dass es kein Hobby ist, sondern vielleicht ein Zugeständnis in einer Partnerschaft. Dem ersten würde ich entnehmen, dass die Person nicht Koch von Beruf ist oder Schwimmer. Sep 26, 2021 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


If it's not an essay on the meaning of "Freizeit" ...

"also" should be used as a conclusion. Personally, I would "also" only use it in the conclusion function. -> ALSO not as an alternative statement.

"My hobbies" is an alternative explanation to "what I do in my free time". That is why ("ALSO") I would always use "bzw. " in this example, never "also".

Correct use of "also" in this context:

Meine Hobbys sind Kochen und Schwimmen, also Tätigkeiten, für die ich nicht bezahlt werde.

Conclusion: If it is a hobby, it is not paid. It is explained here that the activities of cooking and swimming are not paid BECAUSE it is a hobby.


In this context, they have the same function and almost the same meaning.

If I have a sentence like

Ich sagte zu unserer französischen Austauschklasse "Guten Tag", also "Bon Jour".

you said it in French only. If you say

Ich sagte zu unserer französischen Austauschklasse "Guten Tag", beziehungsweise "Bon Jour".

you said it in German and French.

Ontologically speaking, also puts the previous hierarchically over the following. Beziehungsweise puts them on the same level. In many cases, this doesn't mean a big difference in the meaning, only nuances. In my example, you have a clear difference in the meaning.

  • 6
    I disagree... I would not interpret the second example as saying both... so at least your statement is not universally true for every native German...
    – Tode
    Sep 27, 2021 at 5:26
  • Yes, you have a point. It's not 100% clear and just a hint. It would be a situation, where a German would ask, if he used both languages. Sep 27, 2021 at 5:41
  • @Torsten Link How would you interpret the second example? Sep 29, 2021 at 7:36

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