I have just heard/read the following sentence in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6WnEn7tzcw:

An Weihnachten habe ich mal von meiner Oma eine Puppe bekommen. Sie hat angenommen, dass ich mich darüber freue, deshalb habe ich ihr den Gefallen getan. Ich war aber auf das Lego von meinem Bruder sehr neidisch.

My translation of the two first sentences to English: On Christmas, I got a doll from my grandma. She assumed I was happy about it, so I did her the favor.

However, I think that nobody would say it like that in English. What favor did the girl do to her grandmother? Pretending she liked the doll? Often I get confused with "implicit" meaning in German.

  • 1
    You're right. The favor is pretending to like the doll.
    – Olafant
    Jan 29, 2022 at 1:56
  • 4
    A possible English translation, though the phrases aren't completely congruent, would be "She assumed I would be happy about the present, so I humored her". Jan 29, 2022 at 9:13
  • 2
    Note that even to a native speaker, the "what" part would be missing, technically.
    – tofro
    Jan 29, 2022 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


Yes, your interpretation is absolutely correct.

"jemandem einen Gefallen tun" can be used broadly, can be actually doing something, or not doing something.

In this case refers to playing along, doing the person the favour of pretending something to be true to spare the person's feelings - even when it then is based on a white lie.

Not needed, and the change is probably minimal, yet I'd change your translation into English slightly (the grandma's assumption is not necessarily unrealistic): On Christmas, I got a doll from my grandma. She assumed I would be happy about it, so I did her the favour.

  • sorry for nitpicking, but it's jemandem - Dativ
    – Gerda
    Jan 31, 2022 at 9:46
  • of course, totally right! Fixed, thanks for the hint. Jan 31, 2022 at 9:59

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