If for example we would say:

I consider you as a brother.
I consider you as my older brother.

How can we translate those sentences into German, because I don't know how "etw. für ... halten" is used in such sentences.

2 Answers 2


You might say:

Ich halte dich für meinen älteren Bruder.

A German will probably understand what you mean, but there are other words for expressing this, such as:

Ich betrachte dich als meinen älteren Bruder.
Du bist für mich wie ein älterer Bruder.

The phrase etw. für etw. halten might be better used in sentences like the following:

Er wurde für tot gehalten. – He was thought to be dead.
Er hält sich für einen großen Redner. – He considers himself a good speaker.
Ich habe es nicht für möglich gehalten. – I didn't think it was possible.

Most of the time etw. für etw. halten also implies a “but it wasn’t true”, e.g., the last example sentence is only used, if es actually was possible.

  • 1
    +1 for "Du bist für mich wie ein älterer Bruder". This is what came to my mind first.
    – Em1
    Dec 28, 2013 at 19:22

Actually, "I consider you as a brother" (in the sense of: "Even though we are not related, you are more than just a friend to me" or "I know you are not my brither, but I treat you like my bother") would rather be "Ich betrachte dich als meinen Bruder" or "Ich sehe dich als meinen Bruder an". On the other hand "Ich halte dich für meinen Bruder" would imply that I actually think you are my brother (e.g. because I only hear your voice via phone and you sound like him)

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