Let's say "I agree that I have to work until I am 65". To be more precise with my opinion in English, I could say "I accept that I have to work until 65, but I do not approve it."

In German, what would the use of "zustimmen" convey in this context ? For instance, if I say that "Ich stimme zu, dass ich bis 65 arbeiten soll", does it mean that:

  • I accept this?
  • I approve this?
  • Both of them together (i.e. I accept and I approve)?
  • Unclear? (i.e. it could be either one)
  • 2
    The main meaning is to agree with an opinion or a person. But it's also used in a legalistic way, for example to accept a compromise. By definition a compromise isn't something you'd really approve of, it's just the best you can hope for. But in English you can also say someone "approved" a compromise if they signed off on it. I think the upshot is both English and German are both rather fuzzy about the implications of "agree" and "zustimmen". So I'm thinking further clarification or context may be needed.
    – RDBury
    Oct 3, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    "zustimmen" is the verb used both for agreeing with an opinion in a poll and for approving a proposition in a vote. In that second sense, it is the opposite of "ablehnen" (decline).
    – ccprog
    Oct 7, 2022 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


"[Jemandem|einer Sache] zustimmen" is a fitting translation of "to agree with [so.|sth.]", and it doesn't carry any more meaning. You can't tell whether acceptance or approval is meant without more context or additional statements.

"To accept" would be "akzeptieren" or, more clearly without approval, "hinnehmen". Note that "accept"/"akzeptieren" can also mean willingly, in both languages.

"To approve" would be something like "gutheißen", "billigen", "bejahen".

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