Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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3
votes
1answer
464 views

Meaning of “ab damit”

I have heard the following sentence in the TV series "How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)": Ab damit Context: two friends have set up an online drug shop and have just sent the first orders by ...
3
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1answer
74 views

What does the phrase “[jemanden] auf den baum bringen” mean and where does it come from?

I am translating a Till Eulenspiegel story from German to English, and I encountered the following sentence (source, see section 22]: Eulenspiegels Frechheit brachte den braven Mann vollends auf den ...
5
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2answers
431 views

Sentences to start a presentation

I am trying to prepare a presentation. I need to find some good starting sentences. I will present this to my teachers and they won't know the topic of presentation. I should explain it. I used: ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Ehrlich(keit) währt am längsten

I'm sure most people here are familiar with the saying Ehrlich währt am längsten, which is roughly equivalent to "Honesty is the best Policy." (The literal, and alliterative, translatation ...
3
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3answers
110 views

In the “sowohl A als auch B” expression, which of A/B is stressed?

In the sentence below, "Ich bin sowohl in Norwegen als auch in Schweden gewesen." which word is stressed? I mean, in nuance, isn't it that one is regarded obvious and the other is regarded ...
1
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1answer
51 views

“Es” in a sentence

Manche Menschen lernen es nie. vs Manche Menschen lernen nie. Is "es" required in this case? Are there expressions that must have "es" in their structure?
3
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1answer
89 views

Meaning of “XXXX halt” [duplicate]

I had the following exchange while chatting: I did not understand the word "Futterpampe", so I asked, and the she answered (i think) that it means "Cat food". But what confused me was the way she ...
1
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3answers
373 views

Not the brightest light on the christmas tree

I vaguely remember a German expression that means "not the sharpest tool in the shed" that can be literally translated to "not the brightest light on the Christmas tree". Is there actually a saying ...
6
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4answers
1k views

In the sentence “der hatte doch eine Brille”, why do we use 'der' instead of 'er'?

Sie: „Der Mann da, das ist doch Walter.“ Er: „Walter? Nee, der hatte doch eine Brille.“ Sie: „Doch, das ist Walter.“ Can I say "er hatte doch eine Brille" instead of "der hatte doch eine ...
1
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3answers
179 views

“Kaputt gehen” meaning “to become defect” in a more formal way

The expression "kaputt gehen" for the meaning "to become defect" is somewhat colloquial, and I would like to express it more formal, as in a letter to report a problem. Der Behälter ist gerade ...
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2answers
1k views

“halten VON” vs. “halten FÜR”

Ich habe die Antwort von der Verschiedenheit von "halten von" und "halten für" nicht gefunden... Eigentlich, habe ich manche Erklärungen gelesen, aber sie haben keinen direkten Vergleich darüber ...
4
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1answer
316 views

Use cases and explainig for “Mahlzeit”

I have seen that people use the expression "Mahlzeit" before eating, but I also have heard them use in another occasions, even though I did not understand at the time why. What are the use cases for ...
1
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1answer
99 views

Is “als Kind gerne” an idiom?

In the Slow German podcast #185, she has Alexander beschäftigte sich als Kind gerne mit Insekten, Steinen und Pflanzen. I translate "als Kind gerne" as, "as children are want to do". But a more ...
3
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6answers
273 views

What are the German equivalents of “blow away the cobwebs”?

We were having a conversation in French after a concert, and I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in German. I would have said: Ich habe die letzten Tage damit verbracht, eingepfercht in ...
8
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5answers
969 views

How is the casino term “a high roller” commonly expressed in German?

We were having a conversation at a casino, and I said: Normalerweise ist es nicht meine Art, um große Einsätze zu spielen. Ich bin vermutlich einfach von Haus aus keine Spielernatur. Aber wenn ich ...
2
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3answers
110 views

In German, how to say: “when you just saw an awe-inspiring example to follow, which made you want to be just like that person”?

We were having a conversation in French about a certain businessman who visited our hospital, and I said jokingly: Je viens de le croiser dans le couloir et il a tout du homme d’affaires. Un jour, ...
4
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7answers
2k views

How to emphasise the insignificance of someone/thing – besides using “klein”

We were having a conversation in French about asteroids, and I said: Je ne suis peut-être pas expert en astronomie, mais... Qu’est-ce qu’un petit humain de rien du tout peut contre quelque chose d’...
3
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4answers
296 views

How is the idea of “two people having a heated argument” idiomatically expressed in German?

I was having a conversation with my friend in another language, and I was wondering how in German I'd express the idea of "two people having a heated argument where one of them throws a tantrum and, ...
8
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7answers
956 views

How to render “have ideas above his station” into German

In conversation, one of my colleagues said: He's thinking of making advances to the hospital director's daughter. If you ask me, he's got ideas above his station. He's not set up for life or ...
5
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6answers
805 views

Why does “auf der Strecke bleiben” mean “to fall by the wayside”?

What is the literal meaning of "auf der Strecke bleiben"? What is the link between the literal meaning and the meaning "to fall by the wayside"?
3
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3answers
165 views

Does “nur zu” have the same encouraging tone as “more power to you” in English?

Talking with my colleague about reading though an extra-thick medical book, I said jokingly: Zum Gelehrten tauge ich wohl nicht, was? Wenn du es schaffst, auch nur einen dieser Wälzer durchzulesen, ...
3
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2answers
215 views

In German, how to say “We would never hear the end of it”?

We were talking about ... My girlfriend whipped up a mousse-like cold dessert with some fresh fruits, but the thick slices of apple inside turned out a bit too frozen to eat as is. And here I wanted ...
0
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2answers
120 views

German equivalents of “hog all the credit”

In conversation, I just said: Das ist wirklich schade. Ich hätte mich nämlich gern bei ihr für ihren guten Rat bedankt ... Immerhin hat sie wegen uns so viel durchgemacht und mich obendrein noch auf ...
3
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5answers
457 views

What is the equivalent of the expression “you're putting me on the spot?”

I'm looking for the German equivalent of the expression You're putting me on the spot. Its meaning is something like being asked to do something, e.g. perform a song in the moment, impromptu, and/...
4
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1answer
360 views

Stellen - Putting, or putting away?

I was looking at this tweet from the Police is Saxony, and I couldn't help but to be stranged... Einen Trickbetrüger stellten unsere Einsatzkräfte in #Dresden. I can imagine what they were trying ...
1
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1answer
77 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 ...
1
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1answer
102 views

help me understand this sentence “DIE FISCHE SOLLEN RUHIG AUCH MAL WAS ZU LACHEN HABEN” [closed]

(it's from a comic book, that's why everything is in caps.) i'm trying to understand this sentence, however i don't quite understand in what order i should try arranging the words for it to make sense....
4
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1answer
106 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 ...
8
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5answers
308 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... ...
3
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3answers
134 views

German equivalents of the hyperbolic “je ne sais combien/quel/etc” in French

We were having a conversation in French, and I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in German: En arrivant à l'aéroport, on est passés par je ne sais combien de contrôles de sécurité tous ...
2
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2answers
210 views

What does “noch stets” mean?

What does "noch stets" mean? and is it the same as "immer noch"? Example: Der Adler hat noch stets seine Zeit verschwendet, wenn er vom Raben lernen wollte.
3
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1answer
80 views

German equivalents of the French expression “pour un oui ou pour un non”

Tu ramènes toujours tes complexes ethniques, pour un oui ou pour un non, dans toutes les discussions, même les plus anodines. {literally}: You always dredge up some complex about your ethnic origin, ...
3
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1answer
168 views

How is the idea of “girlfriend material” naturally expressed in German?

Elle n'est pas de l'étoffe dont on fait les copines... {literally}: She's not of the material from which we make girlfriends. То express the idea of "she's not (X)girlfriend material", &...
4
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4answers
157 views

German equivalents of “À peine le temps de dire ouf” in French

À peine le temps de dire ouf qu’il est tombé comme une brique sur le lit... Literally: (He must have been dead tired.) No sooner / Hardly had he said phew than he fell onto the bed like a bag of ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Can “Es tut mir leid” be used to express empathy rather than remorse?

I have been wondering, reading online and discussing with friends over this German expression for a long time. I want to know if German speakers, Austrian males especially, feel that by saying "Es ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

How do German speakers idiomatically express the idea of “Ce n’est pas donné à tout le monde de …” in French?

Tu as vraiment de la chance, XXX, c’est pas donné à tout le monde d’être amie avec un joueur de tennis mondialement connu. We were having a conversation in French, and I was wondering how I'd express ...
6
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3answers
291 views

German equivalent of the French expression “Mais de là à …”

In conversation, you can say, for instance: Elle était du genre à se jeter sur les horoscopes. Mais de là à se faire refaire les lignes de la main... "She was always one to blindly believe in ...
8
votes
3answers
184 views

German equivalent of the French expression “n'avoir rien à envier à personne”

Pourtant, en matière d'écart de langage, elle n'a rien à envier à personne. = Someone made an inappropriate remark, but she’s had more than her fair share of slip-of-the-tongue moments herself. So ...
8
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5answers
372 views

Wie sagt man “to scroll” auf Deutsch?

"I've wasted so much time just scrolling through/on Instagram"... How can I express this in German? To scroll = to move text or other information on a computer screen in order to see a different ...
0
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1answer
105 views

using Gerund for object

In English, when we are thankful to God that my mother gave us the money, we say We thanked God for her giving us the money, using gerund and the possesive pronoun for the semantic subject of the ...
5
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1answer
960 views

Was bedeutet “und verbleiben” am Ende einer Mail?

Ich habe zwei formale E-Mails von zwei Deutschen bekommen, die mit "und verbleiben" endeten (eine war auf Englisch geschrieben und sagte wörtlich "and remain with", was keinen Sinn gibt). Was ...
2
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2answers
131 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
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1answer
97 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
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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
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1answer
267 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
257 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 ...
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1answer
898 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
984 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" ...
3
votes
2answers
95 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 ...

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