Questions tagged [meaning]

Bedeutung - Questions on definitions and nuances of words, phrases or sentences.

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84
votes
8answers
37k views

How to use “doch”

I know "doch" is used to contradict a negative statement: A: Das ist nicht wahr. B: Doch! It's a great word for this usage and some languages really lack this word. But, I found it hard to ...
49
votes
4answers
84k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen den Fragewörtern “wieso”, “weshalb” und “warum”?

Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen den Fragewörtern "wieso", "weshalb" und "warum"? Ist er regional, gibt es subtile Unterschiede in den Bedeutungen, oder gibt es noch einen anderen Grund für die ...
48
votes
6answers
19k 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 ...
42
votes
7answers
17k views

Why does “Leidenschaft” mean “passion” while “leiden” means “to suffer”?

The word "Leidenschaft" strikes me as having a quite weird construction. The Wiktionary entry simply states its etymology to be "Leiden" + "schaft". However it makes little sense to me why "suffering-...
40
votes
5answers
48k views

Was bedeutet: “Das geht sich nicht aus”?

Die Phrase "Das geht sich nicht aus" ist denke ich österreichisch? Ich bin Muttersprachler und hatte es davor noch nie gehört. Kann jemand helfen?
37
votes
4answers
6k views

Wann wird “bis auf” inklusiv, wann exklusiv verwendet?

Ich habe mehrmals die Situation erlebt, dass jemand einen Satz mit "bis auf" verwendet und mir nicht klar ist, ob eine einschließende oder ausschließende Bedeutung gemeint ist. Zum Beispiel bei einem ...
35
votes
4answers
52k views

When to use “bezahlen” and when “zahlen”?

Leo shows that both bezahlen and zahlen are translated as "to pay". I noticed that people sometimes use the one, and sometimes the other. So, when to use bezahlen and when zahlen?
35
votes
1answer
3k views

Are “Kinder” still their parents’ “Kinder” when they grow up?

In English, child can mean a young person, but it can also mean something like “offspring” or ”progeny”—i.e., it can denote the relationship that one has with one’s parents. For example, it is ...
32
votes
5answers
29k views

“Die Worte” vs. “die Wörter”

This question also has an answer here (in German): Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "Worte" und "Wörter"? Worte and Wörter are both plurals of Wort. Is there a difference ...
32
votes
4answers
28k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “reden” und “sprechen”?

Ich denke, sie sind Synonyme; aber sind sie es wirklich? "Reden" scheint mehr umgangssprachlich zu sein, während "sprechen" ganz viele verschiedene Bedeutungen hat. Warum gibt es das Wort "reden"? ...
32
votes
2answers
21k views

Meaning and origin of 'Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof'

What does the following sentence mean and what is its origin? Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof. I've heard this expression from some friends – I guess it's what you say when you don't really understand ...
29
votes
9answers
9k views

Is “Busen” just the area between the breasts?

I thought "der Busen" meant breasts. But then I heard someone knowledgeable claim it was just the area between the breasts. I didn't understand all he said and it would have been too awkward for me to ...
29
votes
10answers
3k views

Ist ein Buchstabe eine Nummer?

Angenommen, man hat diese Liste: a. etwas b. etwas anderes c. noch etwas anderes Ich habe "Nummer a" und "Nummer b" in diesem Kontext gehört. Sind Buchstaben Nummern? Gibt es andere Zeichen, ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Eifersucht vs. Neid

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Eifersucht und Neid? Mein Wörterbuch übersetzt beide Wörter nach jealousy.
27
votes
12answers
7k views

Wie viele sind »ein paar«?

It’s pretty clear that “ein Paar Schuhe” is exactly two. Nevertheless, if I ask: "Gib mir doch bitte mal ein paar Zettel.", I would not expect exactly two. Three or even more, actually. I’ve learned ...
27
votes
1answer
40k views

Difference between “kaufen”, “einkaufen”, “aufkaufen” and “ankaufen” [closed]

I'd like to know: What's the difference? Which one needs akkusativ-object?
27
votes
10answers
76k views

Aus vs. Von - What is the difference?

My confusion at the moment lies in the difference in the two prepositions, aus and von. Please note that Dict.cc is my main resource for words and phrases, and it shows the following: I’m fairly ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Was meint ein Österreicher, wenn er am Telefon fragt “Welche Klappe haben Sie bitte”?

Ich wurde einmal während eines Telefongespräches mit einem österreichischen Kunden überraschend gefragt: Welche Klappe haben Sie bitte? Was wollte er von mir wissen? During a business call with ...
27
votes
2answers
679 views

Seit wann sind Dirnen nicht mehr anständig?

Der erste Satz Grimms Rotkäppchen lautet: Es war einmal eine süße Dirne, die hatte jedermann lieb... Dem Kontext nach bedeutet in diesem Satz "Dirne" nichts Anderes als "Mädchen". Seit ...
26
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the difference between “der Zug” and “die Bahn”?

What is the difference between der Zug and die Bahn (besides the gender of course)? When should one be used and not the other?
25
votes
6answers
16k views

The term “Mahlzeit”

I recently started working in a place in Berlin, Germany, and though my German is OK I guess, there's a common term that I don't understand. It's Mahlzeit. When people leave from work around lunch ...
24
votes
8answers
15k views

Does the word “Fahrenheit” mean anything in German?

Is Fahrenheit a real word in German? Does it come from a concept or from a name?
24
votes
6answers
7k views

What's »Aldää« in »Ey jo, was geht, Aldää?«

As I was looking up the word ey in dict.cc, I noticed a rather interesting colloquial expression: Ey jo, was geht, Aldää? [ugs.] = Whazzup? [coll.] What does Aldää mean above? I could not find the ...
24
votes
1answer
5k views

Der Fahrende Ritter: what is the joke?

I'm currently reading Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban to improve my German. In the English version, Harry gets on a Wizarding bus called "The Knight Bus" after running away from home. This ...
24
votes
2answers
23k views

What is the difference between “nun” and “jetzt”?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen "nun" und "jetzt"? I hear nun and jetzt used a lot but I've not been able to pick out what ...
24
votes
3answers
14k views

When to use “beziehungsweise”

Beziehungsweise: a) (stilistisch unschön) [oder] vielmehr, besser/genauer gesagt – sinnv: oder Er war mit ihm bekannt bzw. befreundet b) und im anderen Fall Die Fünf- und Zweipfenningstücke ...
24
votes
5answers
25k views

What is the difference between “ändern” and “verändern”?

I'm still confused about the difference between ändern and verändern. I have read something about ändern only being used with small changes and verändern when something changes totally. But where ...
24
votes
2answers
632 views

Was ist das (der?) Effeff?

Was ist das (der?) Effeff im folgenden Satz? Das müsst ihr aus dem Effeff können!
23
votes
6answers
17k views

“Toi, toi, toi” – was genau bedeutet dieser Ausdruck?

Ich habe gerade "Toi, toi, toi" gehört, und habe keine Ahnung, wie ich das nehmen sollte! Ist es gut? Schlecht? Wenn man im Englischen "Tut, tut, tut..." hört, es ist nicht so prickelnd. Hat dieser ...
23
votes
12answers
6k 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?" ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

stressing of “umfahren” in German dialects

The word “umfahren” has different meanings and apparently one of them is the opposite of the other. etw. úmfahren: to hit sth by a vehicle etw. umfáhren: to drive around sth Example: Du ...
23
votes
7answers
72k views

What does “g’suffa” mean?

Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa! The first three words in the above quote are Bavarian for “eins, zwei, drei”. Is g’suffa also Bavarian, and what does it mean?
23
votes
6answers
44k views

Meaning of 0815 and ger/eng alternatives?

Does 0815 simply mean something is very standard and common, or does it carry any connotations? Where can one use it, e.g. for description of processes, objects, persons? Can you give alternative ...
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What does “6 Waben” mean on a German train ticket?

I have have a train ticket from Germany: von [City Name] nach 6 Waben What does 6 Waben mean? I found that it means 6 honeycomb, but this does not make much sense to me in context.
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Why does “Krabben” mean shrimp?

I was in a pizza place in Bad Herrenalb (in Baden-Württemberg) the other day, and I ordered a pizza that included "Krabben". I like crab, so I ordered it, only to find that it came covered with ...
22
votes
3answers
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
9k views

Woher kommt das Adjektiv “vollschlank”?

Woher kommt das Adjektiv vollschlank? Warum bedeutet es quasi das Gegenteil von dem, was es ausdrückt? Wie nennt man solche Wörter?
22
votes
6answers
17k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Sage und einer Legende?

Ich habe bisher die Wörter Sage und Legende synonym verwendet. Es gibt zwar Dinge die ich so nenne, und andere Dinge, die ich wieder anders nenne (bspw. würde ich nie die Niebelungenlegende sagen), ...
21
votes
2answers
15k views

What's the meaning of “Deine Mudda”?

In Germany, I hear a lot of jokes containing "Deine Mudda", but I don't understand them. What does this mean and what kind of jokes are containing them?
21
votes
6answers
8k views

Is the word “Schwein” necessarily an insult?

I was having private/intimate time with a German lady. And as I started something really special for her (thinking that she would like it), in the heat of the moment, she said: Du bist wirklich ein ...
21
votes
1answer
27k views

What are the differences between “bekommen”, “erhalten”, “entgegennehmen”, “empfangen”, “besorgen” and “kriegen”?

Do they all mean to receive or to obtain? What are the differences in the use of these words?
21
votes
1answer
646 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
11k views

The difference between “spüren” and “fühlen”

Could somebody please explain to me, the difference between the verbs "spüren" and "fühlen"? I know they both mean to feel, but do they both have different connotations? My initial feeling was that ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

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 "...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

“Schwer” oder “schwierig”?

Ich habe beide Varianten gelesen: Ungarisch ist schwer und (vielleicht öfter) Ungarisch ist schwierig. Gibt es da einen Unterschied in der Bedeutung? Wenn nicht, ist die Form schwierig ...
20
votes
1answer
38k views

How to use “sich”

I get confused each time I see sich in a sentence. I know it's used with reflexive verbs, but the problem is sometimes I cannot convince myself of the way it's used. Examples like: In der Presse ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Does German have the “must we not” formation?

If I say, in English, “Must we not speak German?”, I will be understood as asking whether it is true that we must speak German. It’s a strange phrase, as it means the opposite of the literal ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “Ich brauch mal Storno” mean?

Ich war heute bei Kaufland und habe blah blah... ich brauch mal Storno gehört. Bedeutet das so etwas wie "Kaffeepause" oder mehr in Richtung "Pinkelpause"? Oder ist die Bedeutung eine ganz ...
19
votes
8answers
13k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “sinnfrei” und “sinnlos”?

Der Duden definiert "sinnfrei" als "völlig ohne Sinn" und "sinnlos" als "ohne Vernunft, ohne erkennbaren Sinn". Was ist der Unterschied zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern?

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