Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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1answer
61 views

Can't exactly understand a statement (Spaß und Freude vermitteln? and etc.)

Dieses Buch wird Ihnen Spaß und Freude am Entwickeln und Aufbauen – dem Basteln – elektronischer Schaltungen vermitteln und Sie animieren, aktiv und kreativ eigene Ideen zu verwirklichen. This ...
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3answers
136 views

Is this sentence still used or is it outdated/archaic?

I found this sentence on Duolingo, the English and German are as follows: "Which name does it bear?" "Welchen Namen trägt es?" Is it still used and if yes, in what context? I ...
5
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4answers
2k views

How would I say, “a story about the time that…” in German?

I assumed that it would be something like “(ich erzähle) eine Geschichte über das mal, in dem ich...“ but that doesn’t seem right. And the more I look up how to translate this idea, the more it seems ...
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2answers
146 views

Meaning of “an der Nase herumziehen” in Faust

Here are the first 11 verses in the "Nacht" scene, from Goethe's Faust I: FAUST Habe nun, ach! Philosophie, Juristerei und Medizin, Und leider auch Teologie Durchaus studiert, mit heißem ...
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3answers
164 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

German word/expression meaning something like “breakfast engineer”?

Many years ago someone I worked with who was a German speaker (possibly Swiss or Austrian rather than German) told me there was an expression for what I think he described as a "breakfast ...
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2answers
97 views

Why is dafür needed here?

I've encountered the following sentence: Hier ist erstmals ein Bewusstsein dafür entstanden, dass es sich bei der Erde um ein relativ kleines System handelt. My question is, why is dafür even needed ...
3
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1answer
97 views

German expression for “learning by ear”?

I saw this expression "learning from ear" on DW, similar to the better know expression "playing by ear". I want to know what the equivalent for this is in German. Both expressions ...
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2answers
70 views

‘After all’ in connection with quotations

So there are a few ways to translate ‘after all’ into German; ‘schließlich’ meaning ‘finally’, ‘trotz’ meaning ‘in spite of’, ‘immerhin’ meaning ‘at least’ or ‘anyhow’ (among other things). But I’m ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Räte-Ideen: looking for a translation

Wie würden Sie "Räte-Ideen" verstehen/übersetzen? das konnte nur in den Räte-Ideen erscheinen I understand, something such as, "it could only appear in simplistic classwork essays&...
5
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1answer
669 views

Expression of woman sinking in the mud and waving

Back in 2016 one of my German friends (who since then passed away) used to say an expression in German that seemed common in North Rhine-Westphalia (at least in that familiar circle they all knew it). ...
5
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1answer
203 views

Ist doch deide!

"Ist doch deide!", sagte Kali und klang ehrlich begeistert. (Theresa Hannig, Die Optimierer, 2017) I cannot find anywhere the word "deide" is it some dialect? What does "Ist ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Meaning of “stehend inne”

What is the meaning of this sentence: Samson hielt noch in der Tür stehend inne. I translated the words and it is: Samson was holding on the door standing within which does not have any sense.
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3answers
218 views

How do I say “show someone a good time” in German?

Can I say "jemandem eine gute Zeit zeigen" (They showed me a good time = Sie haben mir eine gute Zeit gezeigt), or is that clearly something borrowed from English? If this expression is odd/...
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3answers
109 views

Gibt es eine beispielhafte Beschreibung der im Bayrischen gebräuchlichen internationalen Lautschrift?

Im Bayrischen gibt es einige gebräuchliche Laute, die in der Verschriftlichung nur schwer abbildbar sind. So zum Beispiel den schon fast klischeehaften Oachkatzlschwoaf, zu dem de.wictionary,org ...
2
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3answers
968 views

Is there any reason but aesthetics for the use of “dann mit” here?

A very famous song says: Ein kleines Edelweiss, das bringst du mir dann mit I am trying to understand what is the role of dann mit here. For me, if the phrase didn't have these words the meaning would ...
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1answer
97 views

How to translate the expression excited / thrilled to do or say something into German?

Thrilled and excited are adjectives you will hear and see often when someone is talking very positively about something or someone. We are thrilled to present... I am excited to be here in... We ...
5
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1answer
200 views

What could be the origin of this dialectical expression?

In South Brazil's Hunsrückischer dialect, there is a very known expression (even used by some portuguese speakers) which sounds approximately Das s mu schlimm (There is hardly any examples of written ...
3
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1answer
532 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
102 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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: ...
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2answers
168 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 ...
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3answers
120 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 ...
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1answer
52 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?
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1answer
105 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 ...
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3answers
670 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
191 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
2k 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
388 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 ...
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1answer
105 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 ...
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6answers
291 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
996 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
118 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, ...
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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
401 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
974 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 ...
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6answers
866 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
180 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
222 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 ...
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2answers
121 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
759 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
362 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 ...
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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 ...
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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
107 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
316 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
137 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
239 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
81 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, ...

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