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Questions tagged [expressions]

Redewendung – Questions about common expressions used in conversation and colloquial speech.

8
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1answer
184 views

What's the meaning of 'Igel fressen'?

In a drama "Extra" episode 8, there is a statement. Sag ihr, ich habe einen Igel gefressen oder dass ich zum Mond gefahren bin. This is what Nick tells his friend to make a woman (Edeltraut) leave....
3
votes
2answers
196 views

How to say “for 20 years”?

He has lived here for 20 years. ==> Er hat seit 20 Jahren hier gelebt. Can we also say it like: ==> Er hat 20 Jahre hier gelebt. ? ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adverbial_phrases I found ...
-1
votes
1answer
66 views

How to say I love something in german? [closed]

I've noticed that people use ''ich liebe...(jmd)'' for people, a lot, but not for things. How should I say ''I love Medicine'' or ''I love Africa'' or ''I love New York'', for example? Like, I ...
5
votes
2answers
468 views

Example with “wegen” (just for clarification)

I want to say "I'm a teacher because my parents told me so" So far my research has led me to the word "wegen" (because of), so I guess the sentence would be "Ich bin Lehrer wegen meinen Eltern" ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen “sich hervorheben” und “sich hervortun”

Den Ausdruck "sich hervorheben" kenne ich schon, doch nun bin ich in einem Text auf "sich hervortun" gestossen. Genau genommen: "Das ganze Volk schaut auf ihn. Er hält sich immer so zurück und tut ...
4
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3answers
127 views

Es lebe vs Lang lebe

I've seen both uses of the Konjunktiv I: Es lebe der König and Lang lebe der König They both seem to mean Long live the king though. Is there a difference between them or are they interchangeable?
6
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3answers
1k views

Saying “even more” as an adverb in German

I'd waited. And waited. And waited even more. How may one write the above in German? I'm guessing it is something along the lines of : Ich wartete. Und wartete. Und wartete sogar mehr. But none ...
2
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2answers
255 views

In German, how to say “Mars approaches Earth this closely only once every 15 years”?

Das letzte Mal, dass der Mars so dicht an der Erde war, ist 15 Jahre her. I want to rephrase this sentence into something like: Mars only approaches Earth closely enough to be visible to the naked ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

about the use of verb 'anfragen' : can it take object word?

I saw in the dictionary the verb anfragen is vi. (intransitive verb, verb that doesn't take object word.) Someone asked me A. Darf ich Sie anfragen? But I think it should be fixed to B. ...
3
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3answers
287 views

How to say things like “I have heard him speaking German” naturally in German?

In English there's expressions like [to hear sb. saying sth.] or [to see sb. doing sth.], but when it comes to German, I found it difficult to form the sentences short and natural. Please also tell me ...
4
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2answers
132 views

How to express the following phrase “I don't like to do something”?

I have found several choices to express this phrase like "ungern etw machen", "nicht gern etw machen", "es nicht mögen, etw zu tun". Which choice of these sounds the most idiomatic ? Let us take ...
1
vote
1answer
374 views

Wo kommt “Links-zwo-drei-vier” her? [closed]

In einer aktuellen Frage hier wurde der Marschierspruch "Links-zwo-drei-vier" zitiert. Ich begann mich zu fragen, wo der Vers herkommt. Nun, klar, aus dem Militärischen, wenn die beteiligten ...
6
votes
4answers
566 views

Order of locations?

When a location like a town is mentioned in (American) English, the state and country that town is part of is often also stated, e. g. to specify which place exactly it is that is being talked about. ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Wird das Genitiv-s bei feststehenden Ausdrücken / Codenamen gesetzt?

Ich verfasse einen Text zu einer Aktion mit dem Codenamen Projekt Omen. Es handelt sich also um einen feststehenden Ausdruck aus zwei Wörtern, nicht nur um ein Projekt mit dem Namen Omen. Welche der ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

What does 'Nummer' refer to in “Auf Nummer sicher gehen”?

What does 'Nummer' refer to in "Auf Nummer sicher gehen"? I understand that this phrase means something like the english expression "to play it on the safe side" meaning, when faced with a choice, to ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Are there any literary refrerences to cloth that is called “Kümmel und Salz”?

In the Grimms Kinder und Hausmärchen text Vom klugen Schneiderlein, 1815 #28 there is a line: Da sprach die Prinzessin: »ich habe zweierlei Haar auf dem Kopf, von was für Farben ist das?« »Wenn’s ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

How to say, “You can [do something] by [doing something]”?

For example, a sentence like the following: You can lose weight by eating more vegetables.
1
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2answers
192 views

Can “Wie interessant!” also be sarcastic?

Does the expression "Wie interessant!" in German always mean concernment and genuine interest, or it can also be interpreted sarcastically, like the English analogue "How interesting!"? If this is ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Uns wird schon was einfallen [closed]

Uns wird schon was einfallen is translated into We'll come up with something How? I can force myself to understand by (in English): uns : to us wird : will be schon : already was : ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

What does »Gettofäuste verteilen« mean?

The two below paragraphs come from the article in Der Spiegel called “Jugendliche in Frankreichs Banlieues. Kurz vor dem Knall.” My question refers to the expression Gettofäuste verteilen used in the ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

About the expression “macht es Ihnen etwas aus ~”

In the sentence "Macht es Ihnen etwas aus, immer bis 10 Uhr Abend zu arbeiten?", who is the subject of the verb "arbeiten"? That is, is it asking Is it ok with you when you work until 10 pm ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

Ist “Save the date” in der deutschen Sprache geläufig?

Kann der englische Ausdruck "Save the date" als prägnanter Ersatz für "Reservieren Sie dieses Datum" in der deutsche Sprache benutzt werden? Zum Beispiel in einer Ankündigung für eine Veranstaltung ...
0
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2answers
154 views

What did “black Friday” connote in 1966 Germany?

In a paragraph in a 1966 German book I’m translating, the author on describing the German sense of humor during hard times writes: Unsere Väter muß einigen Spaß vertragen. Im Angesicht von ...
0
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2answers
84 views

The colloquial meaning of “… eine weiße Weste …”?

What is the colloquial meaning in post-World War II Allied-occupied Germany of the phrase “... eine weiße Weste ...”? In a 1966 German book I’m translating a paragraph refers to the ‘denazification’ ...
2
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2answers
243 views

Eines Tages, is it Genitive form?

I see stories starting with "Eines Tages,". Why is it not "Ein Tag"? Is "Eines Tages" a genitive form here? meaning "Of one day"? I am a beginner on German.
1
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3answers
123 views

What does »eine Anordnung einkassieren« mean?

The article “US-Justiz unter Trump. Goldene Zeiten für Privatknäste.” from Der Spiegel talks about private prisons in the USA. My question refers to the first sentence of the second paragraph (first ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Phrases for robbery

I'd want to know how robbers announce an assault in Germany. For example, expressions like "this is a holdup/stick-up/robbery!", as well as "give me the money and no one gets hurt" and others.
1
vote
1answer
227 views

German equivalent for “look and feel”

I’m drafting a ‘handwritten’letter to a good friend who has been studying German for the past three years. I’m using my computer to ‘write’ the letter, using the “Mistral” font in 16 point size. The ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

German phrase or idiom for “Stay put!”

I'm looking for the German phrase most likely to be used in a tense, dangerous situation (in which a sudden move could get one shot) to warn people to stay put. To be more precise, the warning is ...
2
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2answers
169 views

What is the meaning of “jede Farbe steht ihm”?

I stumbled upon this phrase in a text, where someone is praising this guy's qualities, and I'm in doubt whether it means that every color fits him (about clothes) or (in a more figurative manner) that ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

What does »zu Gericht sitzen« mean?

The two below paragraphs come from the article “EU in der Krise. Gesucht: Ein Staat namens Europa” in Der Spiegel (my question refers to the second sentence in the second paragraph; I highlighted the ...
3
votes
5answers
255 views

When to use the expression “Das lass ich mir nicht zweimal sagen!”

A: Warum ... nicht solange ...? B: Das lass ich mir nicht zweimal sagen! Ich bin schon gespannt, was ... I assume this is an enthusiastic way to express your agreement with a suggestion, but I ...
2
votes
1answer
256 views

How to use the expression “also echt” in conversation?

Yeah, you could just as well become the next mayor! Also echt, Felix. Why not just chill out? The literal translation would be something like "so, really ...", but I wonder if this expression follows ...
3
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3answers
533 views

How to interpret “Na dann haut rein”?

This is from a work email, therefore I assume in a professional context: Na dann haut rein ;-)
10
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3answers
2k views

What does »an der Hacke« mean?

The expression an der Hacke appears in the name of this article from Der Spiegel: “Schulz und die SPD. Richtig was an der Hacke”. It appears again in the following paragraph: "Jetzt haben wir erst ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “noch” and “immer noch?”

From what I got, the sentence Sie isst immer noch is translated to She's still eating. I get what each word in the sentence translates to: Sie -> She isst -> eats/is eating immer -> ...
3
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3answers
91 views

Is the expression »an seinen Memoiren schreiben« correct?

The below paragraph comes from the article “Obamas erster Auftritt als Ex-Präsident. "Ich bin echt alt".” in Der Spiegel: Beide [Barack and Michelle Obama] schreiben an ihren Memoiren und sollen ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

“da … wohl jemand”: Is this a sarcastic set expression with the meaning “a certain someone”?

Hm, da ist wohl jemand ziemlich gereizt. = "Someone ... looks irritated there." Da hat sich wohl jemand zu früh gefreut. = "Someone ... got their hopes up too soon there." I wonder if ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Is the expression “etwas ist vom Laster gefallen” used almost always figuratively?

Weil es irgendwo unterwegs vom Laster gefallen sein soll. They are looking for a certain object, and there is no mention of a lorry in previous contexts. Which leads me to think that the sentence ...
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2answers
638 views

How to use separable verb after a subordinating conjunction?

How do you use a separable verb after a subordinating conjunction? I know that for inseparable verbs, they're just conjugated and dragged to the end of the subordinating clause, but what about this: ...
5
votes
2answers
202 views

Can you use “unter der Sonne” to express the idea of “the best there is in the world”?

Felix ist der beste Gitarrist unter der Sonne. I wonder if "unter der Sonne" can be coupled with "der beste ..." as a figurative expression with the meaning of "the best there is in the world"?
6
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1answer
85 views

Has part of the original sentence like “Ich frage mich” been left out in this construction?

Wie es ihm wohl in London ergeht? Can you use the construction “wie/was/wo/ob … wohl …?” to express the idea of “I wonder how/what/where/whether”? I suppose the wohl here has the meaning of ...
2
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3answers
75 views

Dict.cc entry of »Rekord aufstellen«

Dict.cc has the following entries for Rekord aufstellen: einen Rekord aufstellen = to establish a record einen Rekord aufstellen = to set a record den Rekord aufstellen = to beat the ...
4
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4answers
534 views

Is there a simpler German saying for “Das Ganze ist mehr als die Summe seiner Teile”?

I am writing an e-mail to a potential business partner and want to express how our partnership could benefit the both of us. The above saying by Aristoteles came to mind but it sounds much to ...
4
votes
1answer
907 views

Etymology of „es geht um die Wurst“?

I came across a lot of German idioms that are based on Wurst as key word to express different meaning, such as: Es geht um die Wurst! (means: „now or never“ ) I know that Wurst are very popular in ...
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vote
2answers
711 views

Is “zu …, um zu” a German equivalent of “too … to” or “so … that … cannot”?

1 : Ich dachte immer, du wärst viel zu beschäftigt, um zu deinem Vergnügen zu lesen. I’m not sure how to interpret the part "um zu". Is it incorrect to omit either of the two words and say: Ich ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

Is »für« or »vor« redundant in this sentence from »Der Spiegel«?

The below paragraph appears in the article “Schlacht um Deir al-Sor. 100.000 Syrer im Würgegriff des IS” from Der Spiegel: Die drohende Einnahme der Stadt stellt damit auch für die US-Armee vor ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Expression “running out” in German

I have found the following translations for running out of something. Some verbs that make sense to me to use are ausgehen, ablaufen and enden. Note that I'm not interested in the literal meaning of ...
5
votes
4answers
550 views

Expression “from scratch” in German

I have found the following translations for to start from scratch: (ganz) von vorn(e) anfangen/starten/beginnen bei Null anfangen/starten/beginnen And for to do sth from scratch: von Grund auf ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I render the “that” in “Don’t be like that”?

I said to one of my German friends who was being pessimistic: Sei nicht so es! He answered that I could not use es but that I could add an adjective to it like Sei doch nicht so pessimistisch, ...