Ich habe eine Frage zu dieser Redewendung. Bedeutet

Was hast du auf dem Herzen?

dasselbe wie

Was möchtest du?


4 Answers 4


You will ask someone "Was hast du auf dem Herzen?" or "Was hast du denn auf dem Herzen?" if this person has asked you before for your help to speak about feelings/problems/moods or if yourself feel that the other person's mood is somehow sad or it's inner harmony feels like disturbed in some way. This must not have to do something with love, it can also be a bad conscience the person has or any other problem that surrounds the person with an aura of absent happyness.

  • "Was liegt dir auf dem Herzen?" sounds better in my ears, but your answer is totally correct...
    – WayneEra
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 15:46

Was hast du auf dem Herzen?

is most time asked when you notice that someone feels the urge to share his feelings. Often it is something that is not easy to talk about with other people.


Was möchtest Du?

ist die vorherrschende Verwendung und ohne besondere Betonung keine Frage nach dem Gemütszustand. Je nach Beziehung und Situation kann die Frage aber auch dafür verwendet werden.

Im Gegensatz zu allen bisherigen Antworten sage ich, dass zwar der Wortlaut in der Tat nach Gefühlen und Stimmungen fragt, sich die Frage aber längst verselbständigt hat und zur bloßen Floskel geworden ist.

In der distanzierten Form

Was haben Sie auf dem Herzen?

kann sie auch auf verbindliche Weise im Service gestellt werden, wenn ein Kunde kommt.

  • If someone in a shop or restaurant asked me "Was haben Sie auf dem Herzen?" I would be rather surprised and not be sure what to answer. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 10:59

Well I would definitely not consider them as being the same.

Was hast du auf dem Herzen? - (roughly (just for clarification) translated with: "what is lying on your heart?")

This is most of the times related to feelings. Do you feel bad? Then what is it that makes you feel bad? Do you feel bad about anything related to love probably? Then what is it that "lies on your heart"?

Was möchtest du? - (What do you want?)

This does not have to do anything with feelings. It's just the question for what do you want. However, when somebody does not feel good about something you might want to ask him if he wants anything that would make him feel better.

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