Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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18
votes
7answers
43k views

How should we apologize in German?

The most common phrase in german phrase book for apology would be es tut mir leid or tut mir leid to mean "it does me suffering". From the questions on the difference between "entschuldigen" or "...
36
votes
5answers
41k views

Kann man sich entschuldigen oder nur um Entschuldigung bitten?

Achtung: Folgende Frage könnte als Haarspalterei oder Spitzfindigkeit empfunden werden. Ich frage mich, ob der folgende Ausdruck sich entschuldigen eigentlich richtig ist. Man hört ihn sehr ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

“used to [verb]”

How would one say "used to", as in I used to live in Kiev. Previously, I was told you would use früher: Früher lebte ich in Kiew. But upon looking it up just again, dict.cc says you'd use ...
29
votes
7answers
260k views

How does a German say “Nice to meet you”?

In English it is common to reply with "Nice to meet you" when you were introduced to somebody. Likewise you say "Was nice to meet you" on leaving. Are there any similar phrases a German would use in ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Online resource which has easy German to read with its English translation

Is there any resource online which has easy German (should use most common words in daily setting) and also has its English translation alongside?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What is “Hacke, Spitze, eins, zwei, drei”?

I’m currently learning the German language as I’m new to Germany. Learning something new from the public every day is really cool! Yesterday I happened to hear bunch of kids playing across the street ...
31
votes
3answers
6k views

Natural way to deny help from a shopkeeper

This question also has an answer here (in German): Wie kann man im Geschäft einem Verkäufer korrekt sagen, dass man sich zuerst nur umschauen möchte und noch keine Hilfe braucht? ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the German equivalent of the English “aka”?

In English, the abbreviation aka means "also known as". A literal German translation might be "auch bekannt wie". Is this, in fact, the correct German equivalent? And is the abbreviation ABW (or the ...
10
votes
3answers
20k views

What could be expressed by “Ja, klar” in different situations?

If I say "Ja klar", What are the different meanings expressed by this expression?
7
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
357 views

How to say “Now it's <something> time!”

I would like to gather people around an activity such as eating, sport, or drinking. My example is fine? Nun es ist Essen Zeit.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Wie kann man im Geschäft einem Verkäufer korrekt sagen, dass man sich zuerst nur umschauen möchte und noch keine Hilfe braucht?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Natural way to deny help from a shopkeeper Wenn man in ein Geschäft geht und sich zuerst nur umschauen möchte, aber ein Verkäufer kommt und ...
8
votes
7answers
972 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
votes
2answers
533 views

Chatty expression in German

There are chatty expressions in English, like in the middle of a conversation someone says: [Getting angry] Does it work the same in German? as in [sauer werden] Or such a thing isn't used in ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Why “ein Uhr” and not “eins Uhr”

Why is it that "one o'clock" is ein Uhr and not eins Uhr? It is understandable that it's not eine Uhr, since we're not referring to one clock. But why is it that we're just using ein here?
5
votes
2answers
131 views

Understanding “aber des einen seins war blind”

The question is on the highlighted expression in this passage from Der arme Müllerbursch und das Kätzchen (1857), as collected by the Grimm brothers. In it, three mill hands had each brought a horse ...
4
votes
3answers
247 views

Wie beschreibt man das Futur mit der Vergangenheitsform?

Wenn man etwas, das man vorhatte, ausdrücken will oder eine in der Vergangenheit stattfindende Geschichte erzählt, kann diese Form in Englisch verwendet werden: I was going to go to the library. He ...
3
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
289 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 ...