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Questions tagged [differences]

Unterschied - Questions on differences between similar or seemingly similar words or expressions in a given context.

72
votes
17answers
276k views

What’s the difference between “Ich habe dich lieb” and “Ich liebe dich”?

What’s the difference between Ich habe dich lieb and Ich liebe dich? Both are defined as “I love you” in many dictionaries, as I’ve checked.
61
votes
8answers
321k views

What is the difference in usage between “vielen Dank” and “Danke schön”?

I know that they are both essentially polite and mean Thanks a lot, Many thanks etc. but I’ve always wondered if there is a specific difference between the two. Is there a specific context or ...
57
votes
10answers
128k views

Difference between “weil” and “denn”

Both mean because. I know that denn does not change the sentence structure of the subordinate clause, but weil does, i.e. pushing the verb to the end. Other than that, is there a difference between ...
43
votes
6answers
16k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “Worte” und “Wörter”?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: "Die Worte" vs. "die Wörter" Wann sagt man „Worte“, wann „Wörter“? Beide sind ein Plural vom Singular „Wort“ und ...
42
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the difference in usage between “Möhre” and “Karotte”?

I've been doing a bit of German practice and encountered the words Möhre and Karotte. Supposedly, they both mean carrot, but I can’t see where these would differ in usage. Any ideas?
38
votes
3answers
33k views

Word meaning “to use” – “verwenden”, “anwenden”, “benutzen”, “nutzen”, “gebrauchen”

I understand 5 words to roughly mean to use: verwenden anwenden benutzen nutzen gebrauchen When is one of these preferred to the others? I think that benutzen is the most commonly used of these, so ...
38
votes
7answers
36k views

What's the difference in usage between “machen” and “tun”?

Is there any rules or guidelines when to use which one? Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich machen soll. or Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich tun soll. I find a big overlap in their usage: ...
37
votes
5answers
20k views

“Schlimm” vs. “Schlecht”?

Can someone shed some light on when to use "schlimm" and when to use "schlecht"? I've found an explanation here that tries to clarify the issue, but in my opinion does a fairly poor job. Every ...
34
votes
3answers
9k views

Grammatisch oder grammatikalisch?

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "grammatisch" und "grammatikalisch"? Ist am Ende eins von beiden falsch? Wenn ja, warum? Wie kommen diese beiden unterschiedlichen Wortformen zustande?
32
votes
6answers
32k views

Difference between “antworten” and “beantworten”

Is there any difference between "antworten" and "beantworten"? In which situations should I use one and in which another?
31
votes
4answers
22k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “reden” und “sprechen”?

Ich denke, sie sind Synonyme; aber sind sie es wirklich? "Reden" scheint mehr umgangssprachlich zu sein, während "sprechen" ganz viele verschiedene Bedeutungen hat. Warum gibt es das Wort "reden"? ...
30
votes
3answers
27k views

“Food” in German

When I was looking for the German equivalent of food in my dictionary, I’ve noticed that both Lebensmittel and Nahrung have the same meaning and so does Essen, which I had learned before. While I ...
29
votes
4answers
41k views

When to use “bezahlen” and when “zahlen”?

Leo shows that both bezahlen and zahlen are translated as "to pay". I noticed that people sometimes use the one, and sometimes the other. So, when to use bezahlen and when zahlen?
28
votes
4answers
11k views

“Sprechen von” vs. “sprechen über”

I’m not very far into learning German, so I’m still extremely sketchy on prepositions. I thought über was more in line with a physical location than a concept, but then I’ve seen phrases like Ich ...
26
votes
8answers
5k views

What are the differences between “Kunststoff” and “Plastik”?

When I googled for it, some people say it's formal vs colloquial, some others say there is no difference between the two. Some say Kunststoff is more general. That made me confused. In addition, is ...
25
votes
5answers
22k views

Difference between Erfahrung and Erlebnis?

They both translate into "experience" in English.
25
votes
4answers
15k views

»Für was« vs. »wofür« – gibt es Unterschiede und Regeln?

Macht es einen Unterschied, ob man Wofür ist das gut? oder Für was ist das gut? fragt? Wenn ja: warum? Wie lässt sich entscheiden, welche Formulierung richtig ist?
24
votes
5answers
20k views

What is the difference between “ändern” and “verändern”?

I'm still confused about the difference between ändern and verändern. I have read something about ändern only being used with small changes and verändern when something changes totally. But where ...
23
votes
3answers
8k views

If we say “Frankfurt am Main” why do we have “Frankfurt an der Oder”? [closed]

What's the difference here - why we use am in one example, and an der in the other?
23
votes
6answers
911 views

Selbständig vs. selbstständig

Selbständig and selbstständig seem to share the same meaning. What are the differences in tone and usage?
23
votes
9answers
60k views

Aus vs. Von - What is the difference?

My confusion at the moment lies in the difference in the two prepositions, aus and von. Please note that Dict.cc is my main resource for words and phrases, and it shows the following: I’m fairly ...
22
votes
4answers
37k views

What are differences between “fließend” and “verhandlungssicher”?

Filling in a questionnaire, in different languages, after picking a language up, you get 4 options : Basiswissen fließend verhandlungssicher Muttersprache So, how are "fließend" and "...
21
votes
8answers
34k views

Is “Ich bin gut” a valid reply for “How are you”?

I know you have to say Es geht mir gut. but Ich bin gut. sounds good to me. Can I say that?
21
votes
5answers
739 views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen “Haarspalterei” und “Erbsenzählerei”?

Die beiden Begiffe Haarspalterei und Erbsenzählerei lassen sich auch als Eigenschaften Personen zuschreiben. Er ist ein Haarspalter. Er ist ein Erbsenzähler. Gibt es Unterschiede zwischen ...
21
votes
7answers
16k views

Difference between “komisch” and “lustig”

Both lustig and komisch can be translated into English as "funny". Are there instances where you would use one word and not the other?
21
votes
6answers
53k views

What is the difference between “wie” and “was” in a certain context?

When do you use wie and was in German? For example: What is your name? I understand you ask the question with wie instead of was.
21
votes
1answer
33k views

Difference between “kaufen”, “einkaufen”, “aufkaufen” and “ankaufen”

I'd like to know: What's the difference? Which one needs akkusativ-object?
21
votes
2answers
31k views

What's the difference between “können” and “könnten”?

I'd like to know when it's appropriate to use "können" and when "könnten", are they completely interchangeable? Is it like the difference between "can" and "could" in English? Können Sie mir bitte ...
21
votes
3answers
12k views

When to use “beziehungsweise”

Beziehungsweise: a) (stilistisch unschön) [oder] vielmehr, besser/genauer gesagt – sinnv: oder Er war mit ihm bekannt bzw. befreundet b) und im anderen Fall Die Fünf- und Zweipfenningstücke ...
21
votes
6answers
14k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Sage und einer Legende?

Ich habe bisher die Wörter Sage und Legende synonym verwendet. Es gibt zwar Dinge die ich so nenne, und andere Dinge, die ich wieder anders nenne (bspw. würde ich nie die Niebelungenlegende sagen), ...
21
votes
1answer
12k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “authentifizieren” und “authentisieren”?

Es gibt die beiden Verben authentifizieren und authentisieren, die beide mit dem Begriff "authentisch" verwandt sind. In Dokumenten bestimmter Fachbereiche, zum Beispiel in der EDV, findet man beide ...
21
votes
2answers
13k views

»Wie lange« vs. »Wie lang«

Worin unterscheiden sich die Ausdrücke wie lange und wie lang? Wie lange lernst du Deutsch? Wie lang ist die Arbeitzeit pro Tag?
20
votes
9answers
3k views

Is there a difference between “Fahrstuhl” and “Aufzug”?

As a Swiss guy, I always thought the proper German word is Fahrstuhl (and always remembering the song Liebe im Fahrstuhl from Die Prinzen when using the word). However, recently I have read a blog ...
20
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the difference between “der Zug” and “die Bahn”?

What is the difference between der Zug and die Bahn (besides the gender of course)? When should one be used and not the other?
20
votes
4answers
55k views

When to use “wenn” and when to use “als”?

I’d like to know the differences between als and wenn when I want to talk about an specific time. When should I use them? In what situations would one of them be nonsense?
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Beziehung zwischen dem Warten von Maschinen und dem Warten auf ein Ereignis?

Warten im Sinne von Instandhaltung von Maschinen (engl. "maintenance") scheint für mich wenig mit "auf etwas warten" zu tun zu haben, ist aber das gleiche Wort. Gibt es da eine Verbindung? Wenn ja, ...
19
votes
4answers
32k views

“Cute” in German

Is there any difference between all the translations of "cute" listed here? It's quite confusing. Except the one tagged [ugs] which means colloquial, I'm not sure which one is preferred in which ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

“null” (zero) vs. “NULL”

How do German software developers tell the difference between a result of zero and NULL? They both translate to the same word..."null". Obviously you can see the difference on the screen. But what ...
19
votes
8answers
12k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “sinnfrei” und “sinnlos”?

Der Duden definiert "sinnfrei" als "völlig ohne Sinn" und "sinnlos" als "ohne Vernunft, ohne erkennbaren Sinn". Was ist der Unterschied zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern?
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen “wolkig” und “bewölkt”?

Das mag Haarspalterei sein, aber meine Wettervorhersage meinte neulich, das Wetter sei heute bewölkt und morgen wolkig. Das Wetter war an beiden Tagen sehr ähnlich. Gibt es doch einen Unterschied?
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Sinngemäße Übersetzung von “venomous” und “poisonous”

Im Englischen wird bei giftigen Tieren unter anderem zwischen "poisonous" und "venomous" unterschieden. Zur schnellen Unterscheidung gibt es den Merksatz "If you bite it and die, it is poisonous; if ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Speed and Velocity in German

As I understand it there are two different words for "how fast an object is moving" in English: velocity, tells you how the x,y,z (in 3 dimensions) coordinates of an object change over time. It's a ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

Difference between “wahr” and “echt”

I’ve seen both translated as true or authentic; I would like to know what the difference is. If they are both synonyms, please clarify when you would use one over the other.
18
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a difference between “anschalten” and “einschalten”

Is there a difference between anschalten and einschalten? If I turn on the TV, oven, heat, start the car etc., can either verb be used?
18
votes
2answers
17k views

What is the difference between “nun” and “jetzt”?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen "nun" und "jetzt"? I hear nun and jetzt used a lot but I've not been able to pick out what ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between “bereit” and “fertig”?

My understanding was that fertig means finished and bereit means ready. However, I observe that fertig is sometimes also used to mean ready (for example here). When I want to translate the word ready, ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Using “Ball” and “Kugel”

I'm trying to grasp the difference between Kugel and Ball. So I took such spiky toy ball kugel thing: and went to ask a German person what that was. "It's a Ball", he said. "Because it's shaped like ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

“Schwer” oder “schwierig”?

Ich habe beide Varianten gelesen: Ungarisch ist schwer und (vielleicht öfter) Ungarisch ist schwierig. Gibt es da einen Unterschied in der Bedeutung? Wenn nicht, ist die Form schwierig ...
18
votes
2answers
10k views

Unterschied: Nummer vs. Zahl

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Difference between “die Zahl” and “die Nummer” ? Ein Arbeitskollege hat mir letztens eine Definition von Nummer vorgehalten, die ich so nicht ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

“To tell” in German

I’ve come across the following verbs: erzählen, verraten, and sagen, which all mean ‘to tell’. What’s the difference between them?