Questions tagged [formality]

Förmlichkeit - Questions on formal speech or writing.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
35 votes
10 answers
196k views

Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: How to end a complaint letter in German Standardschlussformel für förmliche Briefe ist ja „Mit freundlichen Grüßen“. Wenn ich nun aber einen ...
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 „...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
25 votes
13 answers
8k views

Is "dingsbums" offensive, rude, vulgar, etc?

I've heard that my favourite word "dingsbums" might not be acceptable in some circumstances due to it being related to "bumsen" which, I'm told, is some kind of a word for intimate relations. Yet ...
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is writing "Herr Prof. X" exaggerated/mandatory? Is it old-fashioned?

How necessary or exaggerated is the following Anrede? "Sehr geehrter Herr Prof. X" bzw. "Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Z" I mean, should I write Herr Prof. X, or is Prof. X enough? Also, is it old-...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
60 votes
8 answers
16k views

Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as Du, Dir, Deine, ...
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!'
-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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
29 votes
7 answers
296k 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 ...
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 ...
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)....
34 votes
4 answers
3k views

When is it OK to drop the first-person e, as in „Ich hab'“?

It seems common to drop the end-schwa of first-person verbs. I've both heard it and seen it written. Ich hab' eine Frage. Ich geh' zur Uni. I'm wondering: Does writing or talking like this ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
458 views

Case confusion: “der ausgefüllten Dokumente” or “die ausgefüllten Dokumente”

I would like to reply to an email in formal context. I have doubts regarding the German counterpart of the English phrase: Please find attached the completed documents. Is the German phrase ...
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 ...
17 votes
3 answers
15k views

How to address more than one person in an E-mail?

I have to address my future German Au Pair family in an E-mail and until now have only been in contact with the woman. However the last E-mail was signed with both names, so I now feel I should ...
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

How do German job ads specify both female and male role types?

I just saw an job ad on Stack-Overflow in German, and it said Software Entwickler/in Is the Entwickler/in referring to both genders of developers? And if so, do German job ads typically use ...
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 ...
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?
-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 ...
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 ...
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 '...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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!
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
9 votes
2 answers
18k views

Formal "attaching to the e-mail" in German

On linguee.de I've found a very good translation for attach: ..., die Sie an E-Mail-Nachrichten anhängen möchten. So, anhängen is the translation for attach. In real life we usually type to ...
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 ...
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 ...
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-...
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?