Questions tagged [formality]

Förmlichkeit - Questions on formal speech or writing.

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Idiomatic informal writing to formal acquaintance? [closed]

With my limited knowledge of Deutsch, I'm attempting to write a "get well soon" greeting card to a native German speaker from Frankfurt. Below is what I wrote as a first draft, but I have ...
Henry DeYoung's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
368 views

Anrede für "divers"

In vielen Kontaktformularen muss eine Anrede ausgewählt werden. Klassischerweise sind als Antwortmöglichkeiten Herr und Frau vorgegeben. Immer häufiger gibt es auch eine dritte Option, meistens lautet ...
Crissov's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
306 views

How should I translate archaic English verb conjugations such as "thou art" into German?

I am working on an English to German translation project -- the text of a fantasy video game -- where some of the original English includes phrases like "thou art" and "the battle hath ...
odduse_of_language's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
98 views

Referring to someone formally

I'm talking about my Professor to his secretary. should I use "Sie" or "Er" or maybe "Der" when I refer to him?
O Mid's user avatar
  • 3
1 vote
1 answer
167 views

Formal / Informal "you" when referring to God

I'm still struggling to understand when to use du / Sie. I was trying to read the Luther Bible and I noticed in 2 Samuel 24:14 David sprach zu Gad: Es ist mir sehr angst; aber laß uns in die Hand des ...
HanMah's user avatar
  • 143
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Giving directions using informal setting

When giving directions in German in a formal setting, one has to put the word 'Sie' after the verb, as such: gehen Sie zwanzig Minuten geradeaus How could I say the same sentence in an informal ...
Serket's user avatar
  • 189
0 votes
1 answer
278 views

Why do I see 'Ihr' form instead of du/Sie? [duplicate]

I'm pretty new to German, but something I've learned is that formal form of 'Du' is 'Sie'. However, I sometimes see that 'Ihr' is also used in singular, but what's the difference ? As example, there ...
isoapzem's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
3k views

Should I use the "Sie" form or the "du" form for a thank you note to a customer?

Hi everyone and thank you for reading my question. To give a bit of context I have an Etsy shop that sells digital products, specifically resumes in German, now I want to send a thank you note to my ...
Laura's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes
3 answers
427 views

When a "von" substitution for the Genitive is obligatory, optional, and colloquial

I was reading the usage notes for von on this Wiktionary page, where it talks about situations where using von instead of the genitive is obligatory, optional, and colloquial. For the most part, I ...
jajaperson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
122 views

Use of "gerne" in answers [closed]

I have one colleague who, when asked "Willst Du xxx?", routinely answers "Du kannst es gerne machen". I do not understand this form, is he being sarcastic, or too formal, or what?
ExternalViewer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
806 views

What is the correct order and positioning of academic and professional titles in Austria?

People are a bit more concerned with academic, professional, and other titles in Austria than in other German-speaking regions; it's not unusual to refer to people with all their titles instead of ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
-2 votes
3 answers
5k views

Genderneutrale Formulierung im Genitiv [closed]

Wir sind gerade dabei, einige Texte genderneutral umzuformulieren. Einer der Sätze lautet: Der Beleg wird im Auftrag eines/r Kollegen/in bzw. Vorgesetzten erstellt. Vorgesetzten (im Genitiv) ist ...
Marc's user avatar
  • 261
1 vote
1 answer
122 views

Formal e-mail address for a person with a female and a male name (e.g. Alin, Andrea, Simone) [duplicate]

I need to find a way to formally address a person in an e-mail when I do not know if they are a woman or a man. I am thinking of a situation where I know the name of the person but unfortunately there ...
E.V.'s user avatar
  • 4,847
45 votes
11 answers
44k views

How do you say “To whom it may concern” in German?

To whom it may concern is a common opening statement (in an formal e-mail) in English, especially when you do not know the gender of your audience. I am looking for the proper equivalent for it in ...
Jimmy's user avatar
  • 1,237
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to translate "stay healthy " [closed]

How to translate: " Please stay healthy and safe during these times" or "I hope you and Frau Mueller are staying healthy and safe during these times" My versions: 1) Bleiben Sie gesund und sicher ...
Noel Miller's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
10k views

Frage zur gewünschten Ankunftszeit formulieren

Ich frage mich, wie man am besten die optimale Ankuftzeit / Reinkommen-Zeit erfragt. Angenommen mich erwartet morgen ein neuer Arbeitsgeber und ich möchte ihn fragen, welche Uhrzeit seinerseits am ...
Mauri's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
3 answers
221 views

How much formality or informality is in this locution?

In this question I asked about an aspect of a passage from a novel, quoted below. A young man, perhaps about 18 years old, has approached a bureaucratic organization with a request that is important ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Shall we ... ?" as a polite-but-informal suggestion : wollen vs. sollen

I often find myself wanting to make a polite-but-informal suggestion like the English "Shall we meet tomorrow?", and not knowing whether to say "Wollen wir uns morgen treffen?" or "Sollen wir uns ...
Patrick Sanan's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
350 views

Does "trotzdem/obwohl" look more friendly and informal than "trotz" in this context?

Wie du ja weißt, bin ich zum ersten Mal Ski gefahren. Es hat viel Spaß gemacht, trotz der fürchterlichen Angst, die ich erst vor den Abhängen gehabt habe. Wie du ja weißt, bin ich zum ersten Mal ...
Hussien Chahin's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
319 views

Is "Zurzeit" used for formal situation?

Which fits better in this context: Ich hoffe es geht dir gerade/zurzeit besser. For which degree of formality do they refer here?
Hussien Chahin's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
384 views

In welchen Regionen/Dialekten sagt man Ihr zueinander?

Mir ist bekannt, dass die Höflichkeitsform im Berndeutschen Ihr ist, und dass dies früher weiter verbreitet resp. Standard (soweit man von der Existenz eines Standards reden kann) war. Da wirft sich ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do you say 'Dear John,' in German?

I understand that it's Sehr geehrte Frau Marie for females, Sehr geehrter Herr John for males, Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren for Dear Sir/Madam. But what is 'Dear (name)' such as 'Dear John,' or '...
Dezzie's user avatar
  • 123
24 votes
7 answers
10k views

Why do Netflix German subtitles always make use of formal pronouns?

I am watching a lot of American and English movies on Netflix with the original sound and German subtitles. I've noticed that in the subtitles, when two people are talking, the formal pronouns are ...
kioleanu's user avatar
  • 560
9 votes
2 answers
14k views

Formal greeting without specific recipient

When writing a formal email or letter to a specific person in German I usually use: Sehr geehrte Frau X Sehr geehrter Herr X However when the receiver of the letter/email is not an specific ...
Elerium115's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
43k views

How to say: 'to you, too' or 'you as well'

Example: Person A: 'Have a nice weekend!' Person B: 'You too!'
nebasjoa's user avatar
  • 101
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

The correct ways to use Sie in nominative?

I am learning the German personal pronouns in nominative, but there's conflicting information about the formal "Sie". When Norwegians learn German, we go to the Ordnett site. They apperantly claim ...
Gelb's user avatar
  • 169
1 vote
1 answer
103 views

Can "vorletzte oder letzte Seite" be shortened?

This is the original sentence: Dies finden Sie auf dem Resümeebogen (letzte Seite/n des Gesprächsbogens). I need to adjust it because now the résumé could also be on the second last page and an ...
Cold_Class's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
13k views

Ist es schlechter Stil einen Satz mit "deshalb" zu beginnen?

Ein Freund von mir ist der festen Überzeugung, dass deshalb nicht am Satzanfang stehen sollte. Meiner Meinung nach ist das in Ordnung, wenn es sich auf den vorhergehen Satz bezieht. Kontext ist das ...
NashVio's user avatar
  • 1,357
2 votes
1 answer
498 views

Wie soll ich eine Bewerbung per E-Mail anfangen?

Also ich will mich bei einem Träger für ein Bfd bewerben, aber weiß nicht mit welcher Anrede ich anfangen soll. Es scheint nur ein Mann die Bewerbungen zu empfangen, mit ihm habe ich auch schon ...
Silas's user avatar
  • 21
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Usage of the ur- prefix

From what I understand 'ur-' is used, roughly: to refer to origin, as in 'Urgroßmutter' to strengthen an adjective or adverb, as in 'urschön' (~very beautiful) or 'urplötzlich' (~very quickly) I've ...
G.J's user avatar
  • 269
18 votes
4 answers
33k views

What is the best way to say “gentle reminder” in German?

I need to use this phrase in formal correspondence with a business customer but don’t seem to be able to find enough verifiable sources on the internet with an appropriate German equivalent. ...
Kit's user avatar
  • 281
2 votes
1 answer
15k views

Kurze Glückwunschformeln zum Neujahr

Gibt es kurze Glückwunschformeln zum Neujahr für offizielle Anlässe? (z.B. Behörde, Geschäftspartner usw.) „Einen guten Rutsch“ klingt mir etwas umgangssprachlich. Etwa „ein frohes neues Jahr“ ist ...
Ybr's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
858 views

"hingehen", "dort hingehen", "dorthin gehen" — Which of those is more accurate and formal to say "I want to go there"?

I have three statements to express "I want to go there." in German: Ich will dort hingehen. Ich will hingehen. Ich will dorthin gehen. Which one is more accurate and formal and which one ...
Armin's user avatar
  • 1,064
1 vote
1 answer
286 views

Using "bzw." abbreviated in a formal text

I wonder whether we can use "bzw." instead of "beziehungsweise" in a formal text or not. I actually found this sentence in a formal text: Achten Sie beim Verbinden der Stromversorgung bzw. des USB-...
Armin's user avatar
  • 1,064
4 votes
2 answers
114 views

Welches Verb ist formeller, um auszudrücken, dass man das Rauchen aufgibt bzw. einstellt?

Ich gebe das Rauchen auf. Ich stelle das Rauchen ein. Verwendet man öfters das Verb aufgeben anstatt einstellen? Und ist einstellen formeller als aufgeben?
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
180k views

„Danke für Ihre Bemühungen/Mühe“ in Brief oder E-Mail

Die Frage zielt nicht auf formelle Brief-Gestaltung ab, sondern auf die Frage, ob ein Dank für „Bemühungen“ oder „Mühe“ das Falsche ausdrückt oder die richtige Konnotation transportiert. Während „...
dakab's user avatar
  • 2,233
25 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why the switch from “ihr” to “Sie” in the following speech from Band of Brothers?

Near the end of the TV mini-series Band of Brothers about World War II, a short speech is given by a German general to his subordinates. In the speech, he uses ihr (and related pronouns euch and euer)....
DPenner1's user avatar
  • 515
1 vote
2 answers
837 views

German Salutations in Auto-Generated App Emails

I am currently working on an app that sends a multitude of auto-generated emails for things such as the following: Email verification Thanks for verifying your account Some items in your account ...
user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Imperative with and without -e

I read here "du": The imperative form of the informal second-person singular does not normally include the pronoun "du". In the case of weak verbs, the form is the stem. Usually you have the ...
Luis Sep's user avatar
  • 960
1 vote
1 answer
129 views

Hast du eine App, die Google Maps heißt oder die heißt Google Maps?

These are the two sentences I'm pondering over: Hast du eine App, die Google Maps heißt? and Hast du eine App, die heißt Google Maps? Technically the verb should go at the end as it is ...
Skeleton Bow's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
11k views

Is ‘hallöchen’ appropriate between a professor and a student?

Can a teacher greet his students with hallöchen? May I use this word to say hello to my German boss when he comes to our office? I see it’s informal but I would like to ask about the communicative ...
Maya's user avatar
  • 351
5 votes
3 answers
202 views

Reminding of own identity at the beginning of correspondence

When sending (for example) an email to somebody who probably doesn’t have my current contact information, I would want to remind of who I am. So in English I would write something like: It’s (my ...
amirdeq's user avatar
  • 501
10 votes
3 answers
8k views

Grußformel zwischen „Sehr geehrte(r)“ und „Liebe(r)“

Ich verfasse gerade eine E-Mail nach Deutschland, aber bin bereits an der Anrede hängengeblieben. Die/der Empfänger(in) habe ich nie getroffen, aber eine Wirtschaftsbrief sollte es nicht werden. Was ...
Themistokles's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why isn't plural ihr used for Formal instead of Sie?

In most of the Indo-European languages that I know of, The T-V distinction applies, that the second plural form (referring to many people, vous, Bы, and you in English) is used in the singular as a ...
Yordan Grigorov's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should a letter to a future host family be formal or informal?

I'm writing a letter to the German family that will be hosting me over the summer, and am wondering if I should refer to them as "Sie" or "ihr"? If I was only talking to my host sister would that be ...
Lauren's user avatar
  • 81
18 votes
8 answers
10k views

How should I say something like "I'm" instead of "I am" in German?

In English,we have "I'm" instead of "I am" . Is there something like that in German? I don't want to speak so formal!
Mahshid.NBM's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

How to end a complaint letter in German

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief? I am writing a complaint letter and want to know how to end it. The issue was pretty bad and I'm very ...
changesquare's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
744 views

Generisches Maskulinum

Ich benutze noch immer das generische Maskulinum. Da ich eine Frau bin, nimmt es mir auch keiner übel. Doch überall wo ich lese, erscheint ein anderer Ausdruck und Unterstreichung des Sexus. In ...
Amelie B. Blackstone's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
591 views

Asking a question in german, when to use 'zu'

The example that I would like to use is: Um welche Uhr es ist möglich für uns zu treffen am Dienstag (Morgen)? Googling that question as well as using Google translate suggests that this is not the ...
Oleg Belousov's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
278 views

Grammatikalische Korrektheit von »was ich von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle erwarte«

In einer Bewerbung möchte ich schreiben: Das ist, im Grunde genommen, was ich von der eurigen Arbeitsstelle erwarte. Ist dies grammatikalisch wohlgebildet? Dazu muss ich auch fragen, ob es ...
Christian Sosa's user avatar