Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [expressions]

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

-2
votes
0answers
79 views

Are there any german expressions/phrases commonly used consisting only of two words? [on hold]

Are there any german expressions/phrases, which is commonly used in the German language, that only consists of 2 words? My German teacher has asked me to find one example for the next German session. ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Redewendung für „for my records“ oder „for my files“?

Die englische Redewendung „for my records“ (oder „for my files“) wird in den Staaten oft verwendet. Gibt es auch eine ähnliche deutsche Redewendung, die oft verwendet wird? „Für meine Akte“ ist mir ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Could I use “zu … von” to ask the difference between two objects?

I was watching a German YouTuber asking the difference of normal pork and a special raw minced pork, and he said something too fast that was hard for me to grasp, but it sounds like: Was ist der ...
11
votes
9answers
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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Asking about the weather using 'was'

The English statement How is the weather today? is translated to Wie ist das Wetter heute?. We can ask the same question using what in English by What is the weather like today? How can we say the ...
8
votes
1answer
199 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
208 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
86 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
518 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
65 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
votes
3answers
136 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
257 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
101 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
votes
3answers
343 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
votes
2answers
134 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
458 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
567 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
150 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
166 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
131 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
504 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
vote
2answers
221 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
116 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
169 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
113 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
299 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
votes
2answers
158 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
votes
2answers
94 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
votes
2answers
301 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
vote
3answers
128 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
141 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
251 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
178 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
votes
2answers
183 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
153 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
271 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
284 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
votes
3answers
597 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
votes
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
3k 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
votes
3answers
94 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
143 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
vote
1answer
69 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
760 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
204 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
votes
1answer
92 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
535 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
1k 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 ...