Questions tagged [word-usage]

Wortgebrauch - Questions on usages in German language.

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4
votes
7answers
1k views

To “hit home” in German

I was wondering what the correct way of expressing "to hit home" with somebody in German is. To hit home in English means: Suppose you have had a bad experience in the past, maybe a family member died ...
-4
votes
0answers
50 views

Use of “dran” in this sentence [on hold]

Sie sind aber später dran heute. Oder: Sie sind aber spät dran heute. Und bitte erklären Sie den Unterschied zwischen beiden.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Use of vor in this sentence

On the blurb of the book "Der Schwarm" the first sentence reads as "Vor Peru verschwindet ein Fischer." I only know vor to mean before, in front of or prior but in this sentence it seems to mean from....
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Two second-person pronouns in the first sentence of the dedication from “Faust”

The first sentence of the Zueignung in the beginning of Goethe's Faust, Eine Tragödie reads thus: Ihr naht euch wieder, schwankende Gestalten! I am interpreting this as something along the lines ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Is there common pairing of different English and German prepositions in the same sentences? [closed]

German and English use different prepositions in the same sentence. Some of these seem to me to be more often than others. For example, "in" in the following German sentence and "on" in the English ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Expressing “feed off of” in German

Quick question: I am looking for the best way to express "feed off of" in a figurative sense in German. Here are some examples: The soldiers feed off of the courage of the general. The band feeds off ...
2
votes
3answers
102 views

Unterschied zwischen “künftig” und “in der Zukunft”

Sicher können diese beide Ausdrücke als Synonyme verwendet werden. Ich überlege aber, ob es eine bestimmte unterschiedliche Nuance zwischen beiden gibt. (1) Man sagt, dass in der Zukunft das ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

z.Hd. (unbekanntes Ge­schlecht) Mustermann

Ich habe einen Brief vom Finanzamt bekommen, der ist von einem Beamten (einer Beamtin) unterschrieben. Wie es sehr oft passiert, ist der Nachname in Klammern geschrieben. Mit freundlichem Gruß(...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Using “Kollege” as “university friend”?

I've heard that many people use "Kollege" to call their friends in college/university (instead of colleagues), even when they don't have jobs. It seems to mean something like "university-mate". I was ...
-1
votes
1answer
154 views

When should I use “das neue Buch” and “das neues Buch”?

When should I use "das neue Buch" and "das neues Buch"? Can you make a sentence using both?
-2
votes
1answer
41 views

“Mean”: Asking for definition and intention [closed]

What are German equivalents of the English mean, as in "What does this word mean?" or "What do you mean by that?"? How would you translate the 2 sentences? "What does this word mean?" --> "Was _ ...
8
votes
1answer
730 views

What does “Fotze” really mean?

First of all please do not be offended by any swearing in this question, I didn't mean it. As stated in this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmLBk4cYP4s&t=275s (4:36) Fot(...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

Difference of “zu X” and “nach X”

I'm having trouble with the difference between those two words ... I read a related topic here that asked the same thing, and the answer was: "Nach Hause gehen" means "to go home" and "zu Hause" ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

How do you say “there's a lot of X involved with Y” in German?

Let me give some example sentences: There's a lot of strategy involved with tennis. There's too much politics involved with a promotion here. There's always some risk involved in an operation....
1
vote
2answers
66 views

What does “dafür” in this sentence refer to?

Could anyone tell me what does dafür in this sentence refer to? It's a bit confusing. Wenn du kleine Lampe benutzt, sorgst du nachts bei Toilettengängen dafür, dass du nicht das Deckenlicht ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to properly say “bail on somebody” in German?

I think the question in the title is clear, so let me get to some example sentences: Me and my friends had plans to go out last night. A couple of them bailed at the last second. We agreed on a ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

„Verschweißter Salat” = „Fertigsalat”?

I was reading an article and came about this phrase: ”Verschweißter Salat”. I googled the phrase but the results are not very straightforward. It seems like „Verschweißter Salat” just means „...
2
votes
4answers
81 views

Angestellte oder Angestellter?

Hier auf dieser Seite (https://bit.ly/2JvtYca) ist angezeigt, das Wort " Angestellte " kann für beide Männer und Frauen benutzt werden. Aber hier (https://bit.ly/2xy8iXe) besagt, " Angestellte " ist ...
10
votes
2answers
214 views

Tasche is used to refer to the bag of a woman, but less often to the bag of a man, is it true?

Once I asked an Austrian female colleague: Kannst du mir bitte meine Tasche geben?, pointing to my bag which was laying right next to my colleague. She then replied saying that Tasche is rather used ...
10
votes
2answers
972 views

How to properly say asset/assets in German

I am having some difficulty getting some of the financial defintions/contexts straight. I was wondering if somebody could help me with the following sentences: A house can be considered a type of ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Question regarding Zweiteilige Konnektoren

Simple question: For "Entweder..oder.." is the rule: this one thing OR that other thing, correct? So a sentence with that connector would require the singular, because in the end only one thing (out ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Wann wird nach “gemäß” ein Substantiv mit Artikel und wann ohne verwendet?

Öfters sieht man in Texten, dass nach "gemäß" entweder Substantiv mit einem Artikel oder ohne kommt. Als Beispiel wäre z.B. gemäß der Aussage von... oder gemäß Aussage von ... Welche Form der ...
-2
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the difference between ein Monat, einen Monat, and einem Monat? [closed]

I am confused as to when to use each of the three phrases from the title, especially the “einem Monat” Would saying “in less than one month” be “Weniger als ein Monat noch“ ? Thank you!
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Use and connotation of 'gelle'

I have long been aware of the use of 'gell' as an informal alternative to 'nicht wahr'. But recently I have seen an increasing use of 'gelle', for example in the comments section of a current ZON ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

Is the use of umgeben in the passive unusual?

Phrases like: "he is surrounded by..." always seem to be translated as: "er ist von .... umgeben". Does a passive construction like : "Er wird von Bäumen umgeben" sound strange (Or wrong) to native ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

meaning of Selbst mit in a sentence

In the following sentence what does "selbst mit" means? Ich habe selbst mit 18 Jahren für ein Jahr als Au-pair in den USA gearbeitet Does this sentence means that I have worked at the age of 18 ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Schopenhauer: “und selbst Ideen gewissermaßen als Musterformen dastehen”

I am striving with translating an old philosophy text on Schopenhauer: Es ist auch aus blinder Notwendigkeit, dass dieser Wille ins Leben hinein will, und so eine erscheinende Welt, eine Welt der ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Abfahrt vs Ausfahrt

What is difference between Abfahrt and Ausfahrt ? They both mean 'Exit' in the dictionary.
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Unterschied zwischen »Abfolge« und »Reihenfolge«

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen den Wörtern „die Abfolge“ und „die Reihenfolge“? Beide werden auf Englisch mit "sequence/order" übersetzt. Sind sie Synonyme? Wenn ja, kann man sie austauschen?
6
votes
3answers
257 views

What is a “Körperklaus”?

I've heard two Germans refer to someone else (whose name is not Klaus) as Körperklaus. I didn't dare to ask them what it means. But I had heard that expression used before by others, so Körperklaus ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I grammatically understand “Wir über uns”?

A lot of German-language web sites have a section called "Wir über uns." Here's an example: Credit Suisse - Wir über uns To me this seems redundant; I would think "Über uns" is sufficient. That ...
1
vote
4answers
214 views

“Go on, I dare you!” - Does a similar phrase or concept exist in German?

My brother in law and I were having a discussion around 'dare' vs. 'etw. wagen'. I had said something along the lines of "ich wage dich etw. zu machen" and he intimated that it doesn't really work in ...
3
votes
3answers
159 views

What does “frei bekommen” mean?

Today someone wrote to me the following: "Da meine Bruder in Osterreich heiratet, habe ich am 16. August frei bekommen." and the context clearly indicates that the writer will not be working on this ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Is there a German filler word that sounds like “gelb”? [duplicate]

I recently moved to the south of Hessen in Germany. My German is only around A2 level and I'm learning as fast as I can. One of our neighbors is a very nice elderly lady who we enjoy talking to, but ...
1
vote
2answers
197 views

Is it possible to use “oder” in this kind of context in German?

Is there any regional variety of German where it would be possible to use oder in the following question in this particular context? If yes, in which region would this be the case? Anna geht mit ...
3
votes
4answers
122 views

“widmen” ohne Empfänger möglich?

Ist es möglich, auf eine Sache die gewidmet werden soll, nur den Stifter, ohne Empfänger zu schreiben? Nach meiner Auffassung muss in einem Satz mit "gewidmet" immer der Empfänger kenntlich gemacht ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Usage of “durchpowern”

Aber genau in solchen Situationen muss man einfach durchpowern! In conversation, I just heard this said in a context where my friend, the speaker, was fighting the urge to doze off after a long day ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

What is the difference between renne and laufe? [duplicate]

I understand that both of them mean "run" or "to run". However, I see laufe, laufen, lauft, etc. used much more often than renne and its other conjugations. Is there a time and place to use one ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

What is the difference between nun, jetzt and gerade? [closed]

Nun, jetzt and gerade can all be translated as 'now'. When should I use these and what are their meanings? Are there any differences between them or are they interchangeable?
5
votes
6answers
220 views

Expressing “To give something an X spin/bias” in German

I am looking for a good way to express sentences such as, This newspaper gives the news a conservative spin/bias. We need to put a positive spin on the bad news. I see in some dictionaries an almost ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Bedienen oder arbeiten?

Can I use both or there is some rule behind using this verbs separately? Ich arbeite mit dem Computer Ich bediene mich des Computers Welche ist richtig?
3
votes
3answers
128 views

Wann soll man “doch” benutzen?

If I say: Ich war dagagen, für dich zu stimmen als du mich angerufen hast, und mich doch überzeugt hast. to express: I was against voting for you when you called me and convinced me otherwise. ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

“welche” translated as “some”? [closed]

Wenn die mit Abschüssen ist kein Problem "aber" es gibt welche mit Kanonen und dann hast du ein Problem. Can "welche" here be translated as "some"? Also, is "aber" used correctly? In case my ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Wohnung, Apartment, Haus, Zimmer und WG?

Ich möchte über die Webseite der Universität eine Wohnung mieten. Es gibt hier verschiedene Angebote privater Vermieter, nämlich Wohnung, Apartment, Haus, Zimmer und WG. Worin liegt hier der ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Regarding gekommen

I'm totally jumping into German so due apologies — I'm trying to figure out how gekommen works: (1) Die Frage ist in Vergessenheit. versus (2) Die Frage ist in Vergessenheit gekommen. What's the ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

Unterschied zwischen „Fassen“ und „Glauben“

Ich würde gerne wissen, was der Unterschied zwischen Fassen und Glauben ist. Sind die Wörter austauschbar? Ich konnte nicht viele Beispiele dafür finden. I ask this question, because the translation ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the meaning of this text? [closed]

What is the meaning of this text? Der Nachmittag ist in diesem Café und in der Straße und daheim in den Wohnungen gefangen. Überall hält man ihn fest und versucht, in ihm zu lesen wie in einem Buch,...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Kann man sagen: “Mein Leben dauert 17 Jahre an”? [closed]

Ich bin beim Übersetzen eines Textes und bin mir nicht sicher, ob ich den Satz richtig formuliert habe. Mein Leben dauert etwas länger als 17 Jahre an.
1
vote
1answer
77 views

How to introduce someone else's work?

For my German class I need to study the life and work of an artist. I picked Gustav Mahler, and I've created a Spotify playlist with the Mahler's best introductory songs and symphony. The playlist ...
27
votes
6answers
11k views

Do people actually use the word “kaputt” in conversation?

Related: Is something "kaputt" just broken or completely ruined? Do people actually use the word "kaputt" in conversation, or would this be a strange thing to say? For example, if I ...