Questions tagged [meaning-in-context]

Bedeutung im Kontext – Nuances and connotations of words, phrases or sentences in a specific context.

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What is the German word for: "It only works when I try to show you how it does not work"?

In reading a web page on increasing word power, there was a German word with the definition that means: It only works when I try to show you how it does not work. Is there a single word in ...
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  • 551
50 votes
6 answers
24k views

Dasselbe vs. das Gleiche, what's the difference?

How should one best interpret the difference between "dasselbe" and "das Gleiche" ? When should one use one or the other? Is it correct that "dasselbe" is appropriate for concrete things, and "das ...
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33 votes
5 answers
9k views

What does "vergeben" relationship status mean?

I see that some people in German-speaking chats have relationship status (Beziehungsstatus) vergeben. What does it mean? Does it mean that a person is forgiven? If so, what does it mean anyway?
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27 votes
6 answers
80k views

What does "krass" mean?

During conversations with native German speakers, I have heard the word "krass" used in different contexts. But I still don't know how to translate it. Any ideas?
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25 votes
6 answers
33k views

Is "1. Etage" the ground floor or the first floor in Germany?

I am searching for an appartement in Germany and I came across "1. Etage" which is normally the first floor. However some countries have first floor for ground floor so I am confused now and I don't ...
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23 votes
12 answers
7k views

How to tell the difference between "ice" and "ice cream" when the word "Eis" is used?

"Ice" and "ice cream" both translate to "Eis" in German. Is the only way to differentiate between them by context? For instance, if you want to translate the sentences "Does this store sell ice?" ...
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  • 331
23 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the meaning of 'Marsch' in Marschflugkörper?

'Marschflugkörper' is 'cruise missile' in english. And 'Flugkörper' is 'missile'. However, 'der Marsch' is the march, as in what an army troop does in a parade square. Do German speakers conceive of a ...
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21 votes
1 answer
739 views

Is unwillkürlich the opposite of willkürlich?

My dictionary translates willkürlich as arbitrary and unwillkürlich as involuntary. I do not understand in what sense these concepts are opposites. Could someone give an example where this becomes ...
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  • 932
20 votes
6 answers
4k views

„bis Sonntag“: is Sunday included or excluded?

Here is a dictionary example: Bis Sonntag bleibt das Wetter schön. I am wondering whether the weather on Sunday will be fine or not? That is, whether the day of Sunday is included in or excluded ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Was genau ist ein "Teutonismus"?

Erst durch Kommentare wie diesen "Schippe" kenne ich nur als Teutonismus für das Wort "Schaufel". Kann sein, dass das in einigen Gegenden Deutschlands verwendung findet, aber Hochdeutsch ist "...
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19 votes
5 answers
56k views

How to differentiate between sie (they) and sie (she)?

I am starting to learn German and I'm trying out Duolingo, I've faced this problem several times. If I understand correctly "sie" means both she and they. So if there is no context, can I distinguish ...
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  • 309
19 votes
4 answers
371 views

Welche Bedeutung hat das Wort "an", wenn es eine Speise beschreibt?

Vor allem in der Haute Cuisine werden Speisen derweil mit dem Wort "an" bezeichnet. Wie mir scheint, besonders häufig in Verbindung mit Saucen. Beispielsweise könnte man die klassische Kombination von ...
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18 votes
3 answers
28k views

Why the frequent use of “Bad” in German place names (and does it mean something different than “bath”)?

Bad seems to be a frequent component of German place names (e.g. Bad Bergzabern, Bad Doberan, Bad Schandau ...) Why is this, and what is the meaning of Bad in this context?
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18 votes
6 answers
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What is "das Schulabschlusszeugnis" in this context?

I am trying to understand the meaning of the following: Das originalsprachige Schulabschlusszeugnis, das den Hochschulzugang eröffnet My initial "translation" for this phrase intended only ...
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18 votes
2 answers
430 views

Why is “alle” used in “Diese Busse fahren *alle* fünfzehn Minuten” instead of “jede”?

I think in the following sentence, alle should be replaced with jede: Diese Busse fahren alle fünfzehn Minuten vom Hauptbahnhof ab. It means that the buses leave every fifteen minutes, doesn't it? ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does "Augenmaß" mean in a political context?

I've just seen an election poster which says "Verantwortung und Augenmaß" which literally translates into "Responsibility and quick'n'dirty measurement". What does it mean in a political context?
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16 votes
2 answers
1k views

When to use "spendieren" rather than "spenden"?

Recently I came across the following sentence "Wie viel RAM hast du denn deiner Kiste spendiert?" Roughly I would translate this with "How much RAM did you dedicated to your box?". What itches me ...
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16 votes
4 answers
1k views

What does "Weichspülmusik" mean?

Some people I have to do with frequently call music that plays in radio "Weichspülmusik", like Diese Weichspülmusik möchte ich jetzt nicht hören. I always wonder what that means. Can anyone please ...
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16 votes
4 answers
371 views

Bedeutung von "Ich trank viel zu kaltes Bier"

Ich trank viel zu kaltes Bier. Kann es heißen, dass (a) Ich trank Bier, das viel zu kalt war. oder (b) Ich trank viel Bier, das zu kalt war. oder beides?
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15 votes
5 answers
2k views

Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder

I recently got a Deutsche Grammophon CD with recordings of songs by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. When reading the texts, I noticed the translation of the title of one of the songs. Intuitively I knew it ...
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15 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why isn't "gehen" in the sentence?

Sie müssen durch den Eingang, dann die Treppe hoch und sofort rechts. [You must go through the entrance, then up stairs and immediately to the right]. In English, we have the verb to go. Why isn't ...
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15 votes
3 answers
2k views

In an academic context, does the German “Artikel” mean the same as the English “article” or “paper”?

Doing my PhD in England, I have barely talked about research in German, which is my mother tongue. In English, a publication in a journal is usually called a paper, or more formally, an article. When ...
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  • 296
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Meaning of 'eben' and how to properly use and contextualize it

My question relates to a sentence that I came across in a German-language book that I use for studying. It reads: "Schöne Ferienhäuser oder Hotels bekommt man eben nur, wenn man sie rechtzeitig ...
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  • 141
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was bedeutet in der Schweiz "Sind Sie bedient"?

After dining in a Swiss restaurant in Bern I heard the waitresses asking Sind Sie bedient? Edit: Da es einige Konfusion gibt, möchte ich die Situation hier zunächst noch einmal ausführlich in ...
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  • 7,505
13 votes
6 answers
2k views

»Late«, »too late«, »spät«, and »zu spät«. What equivalences are there?

In English, there is a distinct difference (at least where I live) in the meaning of the following two ideas: to be late to be too late. »Too late« carries an implication (albeit perhaps a tacit one)...
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  • 1,407
13 votes
2 answers
401 views

What is the role of "von" when specifying a person?

I've asked a phrase translation: Original sentence: Past friday the server at xxx stopped, disk failure, I have been dealing with this ever since! The suggested translation was: Am letzten ...
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  • 447
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Difference between ‘fachlich’ and ‘technisch’?

I am an IT engineer in Germany. I came across the term fachlich in a ‘Grobkonzept’ for a large project. I understand what technisch means but I have trouble understanding the difference between ...
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  • 245
13 votes
1 answer
272 views

peculiar verbal sentence opening

"Dennoch ist es tiefgründiger, als man zunächst meinen könnte. Erscheinen doch beide Faktoren zunächst als Antagonisten: Ist die Unsicherheit groß, so ist das Vertrauen gering." The sentence ...
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  • 241
13 votes
3 answers
471 views

"Einmal" als Zusatz zu einer Bitte in Norddeutschland

Ich komme aus dem Süden und in Norddeutschland ist mir aufgefallen, wie oft dort eine Bitte oder Aufforderung mit dem Wort "einmal" eingeleitet wird: Einmal die Fahrscheine bitte. Einmal bitte ...
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  • 431
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

Bedeutung von "zwei Mal mehr" versus "drei Mal so viel"

Mir begegnet oft die Formulierung "zwei Mal mehr", die ich in den jeweiligen Kontexten für sachlich falsch halte. Für mein Verständnis bedeutet "zwei Mal mehr" ein dreifaches des Basiswertes (300 %),...
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  • 131
12 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is there a German "Loot Box"?

There is quite some debate about loot boxes in computer games. In German this term if often not translated. This leads to considerable confusion amongst people who do not play video games where this ...
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12 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why is “deshalb” used on this sign?

So I am assuming the following sign is trying to tell us that using the path in question is at your own risk and that your forbidden from using it when there is snow or ice: But wouldn’t the text of ...
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  • 243
12 votes
2 answers
7k views

What does “alles” mean here?

In the course book DaF kompakt A1, I found the sentence: Was macht Sylvie alles? I can understand question without the word alles: What does Sylvie do? But the word alles confuses me.
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  • 247
12 votes
3 answers
738 views

What does "beanspruchungsgerecht" mean?

This is the context: Vorteile des Werkstoffs: Grauguß Im Gießverfahren leicht formbar, deshalb kann man Gußgestelle ohne Mehrkosten beanspruchungsgerecht gestalten I understand that beanspruch can ...
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  • 121
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

In what context would one use "Ich drück' dich"?

Is it a common way to say goodbye? I understand it is informal, but what would be an appropriate situation/context for using it?
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  • 345
12 votes
4 answers
22k views

Various colloquial meanings of "Der Hammer"

My question is about the word 'Hammer' in colloquial and idiomatic usage. I have heard this word used in three ways in German: Das ist der Hammer (to indicate that something is cool or awesome) Das ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "klammern und bäumen" mean in the context of this phrase?

I am reading this Penguin parallel text book to try and improve my German and I came across this phrase Das hatte sie sofort in eine kalte, hysterische Raserei getrieben, in ein verzweifeltes ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

"wissen", "Bescheid wissen" and "gut/besser Bescheid wissen"

"Bescheid wissen" means "to know something very well": Du weißt Bescheid, was ich meine. Something like "don't pretend that you don't know that". When someone says that doesn't know something and ...
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12 votes
7 answers
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?
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was bedeutet "andere Feldpostnummer"?

Ich bin schon öfter über die Wendung "Leute von der anderen Feldpostnummer" gestolpert, weiß sie aber bis heute nicht richtig einzuordnen. Eine ursprünglich militärische Herkunft wäre wohl naheliegend,...
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  • 1,590
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does the Abkürzung (abbreviation) SV mean?

What does SV mean within the following Context: Eintritt: VVK € 10,90 / TK € 12,- / inkl. Gebühren / SV.
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  • 129
12 votes
1 answer
486 views

Analysis of "mit am besten"

Or more generally: mit + superlative. A friend of mine was reading something to me, when she suddenly said that. The sentence was in the spirit of Diese Variante ist mit am besten. (this variant ...
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Weird usage of "alles"

I have encountered this paragraph: Frauen und Männer sind ähnlich stark in den Berufsgruppen der Ärzte und Apotheker, im Bankwesen, aber auch in den Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften vertreten. Alles ...
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  • 2,455
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst - meaning of particle "ja"

In the sentence: Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst. Does "ja" mean "as we all know" (i.e., expresses lack of astonishment) (Duden 3a) or expresses astonishment (Duden 3b)? Both meanings seem ...
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11 votes
4 answers
4k views

What does "die Augen aufschlugen" mean?

Native English speaker here, trying to learn more German by reading Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, and I came across this sentence: Als Mr. und Mrs. Dursley an dem trüben und grauen ...
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  • 211
11 votes
3 answers
786 views

"Runter" als Fahrtrichtung

Ich habe heute in einem Gespräch wieder das Wort "runter" als Fahrtrichtung gehört und frage mich, was darunter vorzustellen ist. Meint man damit die Position des Ziels auf der Karte, relativ zum ...
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  • 720
11 votes
3 answers
798 views

Meaning of "Klatsche"

A headline on Bild Sport read: Böse Klatsche für die Wölfe! Bei Everton gibt's in der Europa League eine herbe 1:4-Klatsche. What does "Klatsche" mean in this context? According to the dictionary, ...
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

What does the verb 'wegpurzeln' mean? [context inside]

I am translating a Till Eulenspiegel story from German to English, and I came across the following sentence (source link): "Im nächsten Augenblick lagen beide am Boden und rangen und schlugen ...
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  • 389
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was bedeuten "halb" und "scharf" bei Richtungsangaben?

Bei Richtungsangaben und Wegbeschreibungen findet man folgende Formulierungen: An der nächsten Kreuzung halb rechts fahren. Nach der Kirche scharf links abbiegen. Was ist hier mit "halb" und "...
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  • 69.8k
11 votes
2 answers
8k views

Distinction "prüfen" vs. "überprüfen"

I just read a technical spec in which I found the following sentence: Weiterhin kann zum Überprüfen der geparsten Dateien ein XML-Schema verwendet werden. which translates into "An XML scheme ...
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