Questions tagged [expressions]

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

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2answers
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Differences between “erwachen” and “aufwachen”?

I was trying to read Die Verwandlung in German and in the first lines I encountered this word in this context: Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, ... I'd like to know ...
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2answers
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how to express an “astonishment”, “being amazed”?

I think “was für ein” is an actual question rather than expressing an astonishment or do you use this pattern as well? I’m trying to an express something like below Oh god! What a wonderful goal! ...
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2answers
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Ist es “die” Webseite und “der” Link?

Ich habe all meine Computerkenntnis in den USA erlernt, und deshalb verstehe ich kaum, wie man technische Sachen nennt, und ob man die, der oder das sagt. Könnte mir jemand helfen, die folgenden ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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1answer
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The difference between ‘geboren sein’ and ‘geboren werden’

I have translated be born into German. I have two translations: geboren sein and geboren werden. I am studying the difference between them. Can they both be used to refer to the past (‘Peter was ...
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 ...
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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.
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1answer
485 views

Sicher sein + etwas? [closed]

Welche der folgenden Formulierungen sind korrekt? Worin unterscheiden sie sich? Wenn alle drei korrekt sind, kann ich meine Wahl durch ein anderes Substantiv ersetzen? a1. Ich bin mir meiner Wahl ...
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1answer
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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?
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7answers
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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’...
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7answers
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How should I ask politely for a moment of someone's time?

How should I politely ask for someone's time to interrupt them, like in English: Do you have a minute? May I bother you for a moment even though you're quite busy?
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353 views

Wie sagt man “according to our policy”?

Google Translate hat mir Politik für policy empfohlen. Ich bin mir aber nicht sicher, dass ich dieses Wort im Sinne von „according to our company’s policy“ nutzen kann. Kann man sagen: Laut ...
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2answers
376 views

“I am undecided between X and Y” - Expression

Let us say you are buying something and talking with the seller behind the counter. How would you express your indecision between two items? Is "Ich bin zwischen dem X und der Y" correct?
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4answers
159 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
236 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 ...
4
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3answers
560 views

“To go rogue” in German

How could this phrase be translated into German? I can think of zu einem wütenden Einzelgänger werden or similar combinations with different adjectives, but none of them are nearly as concise as ...
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4answers
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What should one say when someone arrives from a quite long trip?

When you see a friend who is going to travel, you'd say: Gute Reise. What would you say to someone who has arrived from a quite long and exhausting trip?
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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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How do I say “the most …” in German? [closed]

For example, I know that if I wanted to say “Most of the people here are good.” I know I should say something like: Die meisten Leute hier sind gut. Is that true in all situations in which I have ...
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3answers
824 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?
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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.
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1answer
320 views

How to express the idea of “failing to do something fast enough/on time”?

How do you say that you are failing to do something on time or not doing something fast enough to meet time limits? For example, what would you naturally say in the following situations: Your train ...
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1answer
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How do you ask “who is this?” when someone knocks at your door in German?

With no prior knowledge of this, I would say Wer ist das? MY question is related to what I read here http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasistas#Etimologia It's a page from the Italian version of ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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What are other ways to express gratitude in German?

In conversational contexts, I've often found myself wanting to express gratitude in a bit more of an exciting way than Danke. I'm not talking about vielen Dank, tausend Dank etc. More personal ...
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1answer
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Was ist die deutsche Bezeichnung für red/black/dead eye?

Die Begriffe "red eye", "black eye" und "dead eye" bezeichnen die Mischung von Filterkaffee und Espresso. Laut Wikipedia: Drip coffee to which espresso is added may be called a red eye, black eye, ...
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1answer
387 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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2answers
169 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 ...
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1answer
136 views

How to write an allergy notice label?

What is the correct expression, maybe some sort of a cliché, to warn consumers about possible allergens, something like: Don’t use this product if you have an allergy to one of its ingredients. I ...
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 ...
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5answers
754 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/...
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3answers
101 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 ...
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4answers
555 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 ...
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2answers
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Is “Bist du fertig?” offensive?

I am wondering on the use and the meaning of the word fertig in this sentence: Bist du fertig? In Italian a similar expression could be “Ma sei fuori/matto?” in the sense of “You are crazy!” In ...
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2answers
108 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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3answers
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Der Unterschied zwischen “In Anspruch nehmen”, “verwenden” und “benutzen”

Ich werde morgen meinen Wagen für die Arbeit in Anspruch nehmen. Ich werde morgen meinen Wagen für die Arbeit verwenden. Ich werde morgen meinen Wagen für die Arbeit benutzen. Was ist der ...
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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, ...
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3answers
647 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 ...
3
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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
1k 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 ;-)
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3answers
128 views

How to say “to wake up to a world”?

I was trying to translate the following sentence into German but I could not find a good translation for "to wake up to a world". I decided to go with "zu", and I hope it works. ...
3
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1answer
531 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 ...
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5answers
610 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 wonder ...
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2answers
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unter dem Regen oder in dem Regen laufen?

I wonder the positions of people, they walk unter dem Regen or in dem Regen or mit dem Regen? Following expressions are possible? Der romantischste Moment für mich ist das Zufußgehen in dem Regen. ...
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2answers
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“To sense a pattern” or “to sense a theme” in German?

Is there an expression for to sense a pattern or to sense a theme in German? Meaning, for example, that we start observing similar things, or that we seem to be repeating the same behaviour, etc. (...
3
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2answers
266 views

What would be the best translation of the expression “on track”?

I’m currently writing a status report using a “traffic light” system, where the description for “Green” would be “On track”, to note that a certain task is on track with the development plan and and ...
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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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 ...