Questions tagged [colloquial]

Umgangssprache - An expression is colloquial if it is rarely used in public speeches or in formal writing, but often in informal speech, e.g. among friends.

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What is the grammaticality of "waren" + "infinitive"?

This is bothering me. I am learning German whilst living in Germany. I have heard people say things like "ich war reisen" and "wir waren frühstücken" and I cannot fit this ...
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4 answers
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Die Bedeutung des Begriffs "Dicker Pulli" in Liedern der Fantastischen Vier

Vor kurzem hab ich mir mal wieder die (jetzt schon ziemlich alte) CD von den Fantastischen Vier angehört, worauf es die Lieder "Die Da" und "Dicker Pulli" zu hören gibt. In dem ...
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10 votes
8 answers
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Is there a German colloquialism to define a person working mainly with papers and documents?

Example of professions defined by this word might be lawyers, notaries, accountants, bureaucrats, and similar. The word I'm looking for might have a playful or even slightly derogatory connotation.
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7 votes
4 answers
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No fitting translations to say "I fell for you"

I'm trying to write a letter to someone I'm very close with and I drafted it in English. In English I would say "the truth is, I fell for you a while ago." This seems to convey strong ...
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3 votes
2 answers
354 views

Can you use "Ich habe es geknickt" to mean "decided against having done" something?

I'm familiar with the expression "kannst du knicken" to mean "forget it", but can "Ich habe es geknickt" be used to express the idea of deciding against something (in the ...
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"Sein" + infinitive, without "zu" [duplicate]

Similar to "Wir gehen tanzen!", one can say "Wir sind tanzen!". I have heard this construction often. For example my parents might tell me on the phone: "Wir sind (gerade) ...
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1 answer
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"So" vs. "sowas/so was"

In the following sentences: Heißt sie nicht Kaminski oder so? Wir können was trinken gehen oder so. Can we use "oder sowas"? And here: Sie arbeitet für eine Bank oder so was. Was sind ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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String of sneeze responses after "Gesundheit"?

Something that's just been nagging at the back of my head for the last decade. In high school, I knew someone who spent a year abroad in Austria, and they taught me that if someone sneezes multiple ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does "zuerst glühen wir vor" translate to "first, we'll have predrinks"?

I found the sentence Zuerst glühen wir bei mir vor. in Memrise. According to them, it translates to First, we'll have predrinks at my place. and the literal translation First, glow we by me ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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German equivalent to using the word "well" as a bridge between two ideas

When speaking in English, the word "well" is often used as a buffer between sentences or when answering a question. Example: What are neural networks? – Well, neural networks are … What ...
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Word order after "nein" [closed]

While conversing with 2 native German speakers I said, Nein, sie gehen nicht. And they corrected me to, Nein, gehen sie nicht. However, Duden has this example sentence: nein, das ist unmöglich ...
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How to say: "The film/series came out yesterday"

Specifically, I want to know the correct verb in German for "to come out". It doesn't matter if the movie came out or the pastor is coming out sometime in the future. I guess I can always ...
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Is »lecker dabei« commonly used? [closed]

I recently heard a child refer to an ice cream as lecker dabei which I understood as equivalent to "really delicious". If this is so, how does this use of "dabei" sound to a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
157 views

Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Arzt (HNO-Arzt) vs. Hals-Nase-Ohren-Arzt oder Hälse-Nasen-Ohren Arzt

Der Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Arzt (HNO-Arzt) beschreibt drei Körperteile. Der Hals (Singular da wir nur einen Hals haben) Die Ohren (Plural da wir zwei Ohren haben) Die Nasen (Warum Plural?) Wir verwenden ...
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Tun und lassen in sentence

I cannot understand the purpose of this phrase "tun und lassen", I saw it in sentence like this: Das ist mein Auto. Ich kann damit tun und lassen, was ich will! Translation in English (...
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3 answers
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Wie nennt man eine Person, die viel jammert?

wie würde man (umgangssprachlich) jemanden nennen, der viel jammert? Ist das Wort „jammerig“ hier gebräuchlich?
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Es ist richtig diese Abkürzung in "umgangsprachlich"?

in "umgangssprachlich" die satz - ich nehme das für morgen- wird " ich nehm's für morgen" und ich habe das verstanden.. Jetzt, meine frage ist: kann ich die abkzürgung auch mit ...
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10 votes
2 answers
349 views

"Ich werd nicht mehr" - what is the missing part?

A German speaker who is surprised or astonished might say something like: Ich glaub, ich werd nicht mehr! But, werd nicht mehr what? Werd nicht mehr aufhören, mich zu wundern? Werd nicht mehr ruhig? ...
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3 votes
2 answers
153 views

„Gehören“ als Ersatz für „gebühren”

In einem Eintrag im Online-Wörterbuch dict.cc steht Folgendes, welches mich ziemlich überraschte: sb. is entitled to sth. [desirable] — jdm. gehört etw. [gebührt] [ [österr.] [südd.] [schweiz.] ...
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11 votes
9 answers
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What is the German equivalent of a rhethorical “What can I do?”?

In English there is a very specific usage of the phrase “What can I do?” that has nothing to do with the literal usage of that question. It’s when that phrase is used as a rhetorical question where ...
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3 votes
1 answer
123 views

Is there a German publication that would be a resource for reading that is more informal, conversational?

In short, I'm looking for german reading material that is more diverse than the newspapers I currently read. I do quite a bit of reading online and listening in German, but most of the resources I ...
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3 answers
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What is a mild form of "idiot" that might be used by a German-speaking Czech?

I need advice picking a mild insult a character I'm writing might blurt out when irritated at another. The character is an ethnic German from Czechia, woman speaking to a male friend. The obvious one ...
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4 votes
1 answer
183 views

Näh-Fachbegriffe aus dem Englischen ins Deutsche

Ich will Covid-19-Masken nähen und brauche Hilfe beim Übersetzen ein paar technischer Fachbegriffe, um Stoff zu bestellen. Dafür gibt es mehrere Optionen. Auf Englisch heißen diese Materialien: ...
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22 votes
15 answers
11k views

What is the most ‘understandable’ way to order sparkling water in German?

I’ve heard of people saying Mineralwasser; should it automatically be understood as sparking water? Also, I heard (some) people saying Wasser mit Gas or Gaswasser, however, I don’t think I was always ...
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3 votes
2 answers
101 views

What is the equivalent of "here" (offering sb sth)

I know "bitte sehr/schön." Is it possible to say "hier" akin to in English? I'm looking for the equivalent with the same level of casualness, like when you hand something to a toddler after they ...
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5 votes
4 answers
259 views

Komparativ von "daneben" (umgangssprachlich)

Vor Kurzem wurde mir so etwas Ähnliches gesagt wie Patricks Aussage war völlig daneben. wobei daneben die umgangssprachliche Bedeutung "nicht passend zur Situation" hatte. Ich wollte dann sagen, ...
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8 votes
4 answers
318 views

Relativsatz mit dialektaler/umgs. Wortfolge oder eigenständiger Satz?

Ein Dialektsprecher produzierte mal so einen Satz auf Standarddeutsch: Es gibt Sachen, die kann man nicht verstehen. Ich glaube, semantisch gesehen dürfte das ein Relativsatz sein, aber bin etwas ...
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23 votes
5 answers
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What is the equivalent of "if you say so" in German?

In English we have a very specific colloquialism/idiom to indicate our doubt in someone's premise. For example: Joe: Wow, you've really lost weight! Fred (who doesn't feel that way): If you say so. ...
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9 votes
4 answers
604 views

How to understand „von wegen“ meaning?

I'm reading Ahoi aus Hamburg (a graded reader for German learners) and it says that the expression “Von wegen Venedig!”* means "So much for Venice!", and from other sites I see translations for "von ...
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2 votes
1 answer
350 views

Gehn ma Tauben vergiften im Park

"Gehn ma Tauben vergiften im Park?" I do not understand the words "gehn" and "ma" and also how the infinitive "vergiften" is used in the above sentence.
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Leaving out pronouns in informal conversation

I've seen a few simple sentences leave out an "ich" and go straight to the verb, particularly in very informal conversation or for stylistic reasons. Here are some examples that come to mind: In the ...
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1 vote
4 answers
222 views

How do you say "it was nothing more than that" in German?

In English we frequently "that's all" to indicate something was not more than something another person fears that it is. I'm finding it very hard to even find the right keywords to search for a ...
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4 votes
3 answers
680 views

When to use ebenso instead of auch?

Are ebenso and auch frequently interchangeable? Or are there nuances to their meaning I should be aware of, especially as to which word is preferred by modern German natives in their speech? For ...
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10 votes
6 answers
4k views

How do you say "half the time …, the other half …" in German?

I am looking for a way to say in German the equivalent of "half the time …, the other half …" but when it's used in a very specific, colloquial context in English. For example: Joan: So how are ...
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1 vote
4 answers
425 views

"Bitte heißen mir A" oder "Bitte heißen mich A"?

When I want someone to call me by a certain name or title (e.g. "A"), which should I use, "Bitte heißen mir A." or "Bitte heißen mich A."? Can also you provide some other ways to make such a ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the difference between notwendig and erforderlich?

In the song Vor Gericht by Alligatoah is this lyric: "Gewalt ist zum Zerstören nicht erforderlich" (Violence is not necessary to cause destruction" My two questions about this sentence relate to the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
163 views

Wilhelm II. und Ludwig XIV

Ich habe gerade in Volker Kutschers »Der nasse Fisch«, oder vielleicht sollte ich in Volker Kutschers »Nassem Fisch« schreiben, den folgenden Satz gelesen : Der Mann erinnerte ein wenig an Wilhelm ...
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7 votes
2 answers
225 views

Zusammenhang zwischen "Rappen" und "berappen"?

Hat denn die kleinste schweizerische Währungseinheit "der Rappen" etwas mit dem Verb "berappen" (ugs. für bezahlen) zu tun? Ich finde für beide Wörter sehr vage und auch teilweise stark voneinander ...
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1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Ways to ask for opinions over subjects/items/events

In english if I want to ask for someone's opinion of a movie or event I would ask What did you think of [insert topic]? or I would ask How did you find the [insert topic]? In German I was ...
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12 votes
4 answers
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How do native German speakers usually express skepticism (using even) about a premise?

In English when we express skepticism about a premise we frequently use a phrase that starts with the word "even". For example: Joe: Do you know the band named Rammstein? Dietrich: Everyone ...
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Der Song vs. Das Lied?

I have always seen das Lied used to refer to a "song" in my beginner German texts. However, whenever I use one of the online translators, they always use "der Song". Is there any difference in usage,...
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4 votes
1 answer
109 views

How is the colloquial "One moment X, and the next Y" commonly expressed in German?

In conversation, I just said: Die reinste Folter. Da wähnt man sich als glorreicher Sieger und erliegt dann einer unerwarteten Verletzung... We were talking about how arduous it must be for top ...
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8 votes
5 answers
331 views

How is the colloquial "I don't miss those days" commonly expressed in German?

In conversation, I just said jokingly: Ja, den schlafmangelerfüllten Assistenzarzt-Tagen weine ich keine Träne nach. Wir waren immer kurz davor, sogar im Dienst stehend einzuschlafen... ...
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23 votes
8 answers
6k views

What would be the way to say "just saying" in German? (Not the literal translation)

The context would be when making a suggestion. For example, if I am with a group of friends and everyone is hungry I could say: "There is a restaurant nearby. Just saying." If me and some friends ...
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24 votes
4 answers
5k views

When speaking, how do you change your mind mid-sentence?

Imagine that you're saying something, but then realise you want to say something else instead. In English, you might say: I don't like ice cream, because— actually, no. I like chocolate ice cream, ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Is "de" really a common substitute for "der," "die," and "das" in colloquial speech?

In this article, Matt Crossman of Thrillist claims to have been told the following by a German journalist: [he] told me that even Germans don’t how to use der, die, das, so they just cheat and say ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why do we need "uns mal" in the sentence "maybe we can meet for a meal"?

If I write a sentence as: "Vielleicht können wir zu einem Essen treffen", it would mean exactly the same as the sentence: "Vielleicht können uns mal wir zu einem Essen treffen" as per the google ...
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7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Jemand eine kleben - was ist die „eine“?

Ich kenne den Ausdruck jemand eine kleben als umgangssprachlichen Begriff für eine Ohrfeige verteilen. Pass bloß auf, ich kleb' dir gleich eine! In den einschlägigen Wörterbüchern (Grimm, DWDS) ...
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6 votes
2 answers
674 views

"Guten" instead of "Guten Appetit"?

Am I going insane, or are people just saying "Guten" whenever I whip out food? To be more specific: Do people say "Guten" as an abbreviation for "Guten Appetit"? If yes, is it interchangeable with ...
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  • 319
13 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is there an expression that translates to "building character" in German?

My friend and I were out in the rain, and I was asked why I left my stuffed animal keychain clipped to my backpack if it will get wet. I wanted to reply with an offhand joke about how being out in the ...
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