What is the difference between the two phrases:

  • etwas in den Griff bekommen

    Ich muss das Auto in den Griff bekommen.

  • sich an etwas gewöhnen.

    Ich fange an mich an dieses kalte Wetter zu gewöhnen.

Do they have the same meaning? Which phrase is more commonly used?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Carsten S, Wrzlprmft, Em1, Vogel612, fifaltra Jan 13 '14 at 15:00

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


The first example is used when you want to express adaption to a situation, e.g. coping with a situation or circumstance.

Am Anfang hatte ich Schwierigkeiten mit der Gangschaltung, aber so langsam bekomme ich das Auto in den Griff.

The second example is just getting used to something, not necessarily adapting to something.

Hier in den Bergen regnet es sehr oft, aber ich habe mich daran gewöhnt.


"Etwas in den Griff bekommen" means to seize control of something that is a problem for you. You cannot "das Wetter in den Griff bekommen" because you can't control the weather.

"Sich an etwas gewöhnen" just means to get used to something, regardless of the measure of control you can have over it.

  • 1
    So it's like "get a handle on" vs "get used to"? – thekeyofgb Jan 14 '14 at 22:12
  • 1
    Yes, that's pretty much it. I didn't know the English phrase "get a handle on s.th." -- thanks for teaching me! ;) – elena Jan 20 '14 at 12:27

The two sentences have a quite different meaning: "etwas in den Griff bekommen" means to get the hang of something, so that you can use it well. "Sich an etwas gewöhnen" means to get used to something.

Er hat sich ans Wetter gewöhnt.

Means he got used to the weather, i.e. by knowing that he has to wear a coat.

Er hat das Wetter in den Griff bekommen.

This sounds really odd, because normally there's nothing you can do about the weather. But colloquially, this is also used to express the same, especially when it means that he is now able go cope with the (bad) weather.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.