33 votes
Accepted

Why is it "vielen Dank" if it is plural?

The German word Dank is a masculine singular noun. It is not possible to use it in a plural form because there is no plural form. This is in heavy contrast to the English word thanks which is a plural ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between "noch" and "immer noch?"

Sie isst immer noch. Both immer and noch are used as modal particles in this sentence. I introduce the modal particle gerade to show the difference. Sie isst. → She eats. Sie isst gerade. → She is ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 60.3k
24 votes
Accepted

Asking about the weather using 'was'

Wie ist das Wetter heute? How is the weather today? Was für ein Wetter haben wir heute? literally: "What kind of weather do we have today?"
Janka's user avatar
  • 60.3k
21 votes

How can I render the “that” in “Don’t be like that”?

I do wonder why your friend couldn’t tell you that you already had the perfect translation for ‘Don’t be like that’ — it is: Sei nicht so. So is the perfect, idiomatic and complete translation of ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.6k
21 votes
Accepted

Räte-Ideen: looking for a translation

Gegen Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs wurde in der sogenannten Novemberrevolution von 1918 Kaiser Wilhelm II. gestürzt. Deutschland war jetzt keine Monarchie mehr - aber was stattdessen? In dieser Zeit gab ...
Henning Kockerbeck's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Meaning of expression "Bist du los?"

In general, "Bist du los?" means "Have you departed?", as it is a shortened way of saying "Bist du losgegangen?" This shortening appears in many related forms: Bist du ...
O. R. Mapper's user avatar
  • 8,697
20 votes

Does German have the "must we not" formation?

The sentence is understood the same way in German. And you’re right that you cannot move the nicht in the second position. Same is true if you replace must/müssen with should/sollten. Shouldn’t we ...
Em1's user avatar
  • 38.6k
19 votes
Accepted

Is there an expression that translates to "building character" in German?

In the context of exposure to cold and rain I probably would have said: Das härtet ab! With this meaning of abhärten in mind: to toughen s.o, to build up s.o.'s resistance, to make s.b. stronger
Takkat's user avatar
  • 70.4k
18 votes
Accepted

Deutsche Redewendung für „Sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya“

Spontan würde ich einen auf Friede-Freude-Eierkuchen machen dazu sagen. Die Sequenz einen auf ... machen bedeutet umgangssprachlich so tun, als ob, etwas vorspielen, Friede, Freude, ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 24.1k
18 votes
Accepted

Does German have the "must we not" formation?

In your German version, there are subtle differences in meaning than in your English version. Must we not speak German? I understand the meaning as: is it not enforced or encouraged that we speak ...
Andreas Heese's user avatar
17 votes

How to render "have ideas above his station" into German

Das ist absolut nicht seine Kragenweite. Der spielt nicht in ihrer Liga Die ist ein paar Nummern zu gross für ihn are commonly use to express "above one's station" (which I haven't really ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.7k
16 votes

Does German have the "must we not" formation?

If you ask Müssen wir nicht Deutsch sprechen? then it will be understood that you thought that the German is to be spoken, but for some reason you are not sure or realise that you were wrong, and ...
Carsten S's user avatar
  • 20.9k
16 votes
Accepted

What does »an der Hacke« mean?

In my communicative environment, the expression Du hast wohl einen an der Hacke is used to express doubt about somebody's mental health, or simply: "You seem to be a fool". However, as Mr. Schulz ...
Christian Geiselmann's user avatar
16 votes

Is there an expression that translates to "building character" in German?

You can say: Im Regen zu sein stärkt den Charakter. Being in the rain strengthens the character. (also »festigt« instead of »stärkt«) But German native speakers won't say something like this ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
14 votes

How would I say, “a story about the time that...” in German?

The most idiomatic way I can think of is Hab' ich dir mal erzählt, wie ich eine Gitarre umsonst bekam? which literally translates to Did I ever tell you, how I got a guitar for free? If you want ...
infinitezero's user avatar
  • 18.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Expression for "little people"

Personally, I’ve never encountered little people being used that way in English, but I’m not a native speaker and since there are some similar phrases in German I’ve no doubt it can refer to unknown ...
Crissov's user avatar
  • 9,177
13 votes
Accepted

Wie sagt man "to scroll" auf Deutsch?

You use the anglicism scrollen which is declined as the verb rollen. In your case of wasting time you could use the prefix rum- (short form of herum-) which is generally used for verbs which express ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

German equivalent of the French expression "n'avoir rien à envier à personne"

I think you mean jemandem in nichts nachstehen which is used to express equality, both positively and ironically.
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
13 votes
Accepted

Can "Es tut mir leid" be used to express empathy rather than remorse?

Short answer: Yes, just like the English I'm sorry you can use es tut mir leid both for apologizing for something that is your fault and for expressing empathy. Long answer: Everyone of your examples ...
Volker Landgraf's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Expression "running out" in German

You can use the first expression (ausgehen) for almost anything that you are running out of. For example the following sentences are fine: Mir geht die Zeit aus. Mir gehen die Vorräte aus. Using zu ...
TheAbelian's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Is »für« or »vor« redundant in this sentence from »Der Spiegel«?

Yes, it seems like they could not decide whether they wanted to use the sentence as Die drohende Einnahme der Stadt stellt damit auch die US-Armee vor ein Dilemma. or Die drohende Einnahme der ...
TheAbelian's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

German word/expression meaning something like "breakfast engineer"?

I have never heard the words *Frühstücksingenieur or *Frühstückswissenschaftler. I guess, the word you are most probably looking for is Frühstücksdirektor. Wikipedia says: Als Frühstücksdirektor wird ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
11 votes

Is “Bist du fertig?” offensive?

I have never heard that phrase used that way and meant to be offensive. It would typically be used as a question when inquiring if somebody is finished, for example, when wondering if you can take ...
PhilippNagel's user avatar
11 votes

Saying "even more" as an adverb in German

Well, grammatically it is correct, but its unusual. First of all, you normally wouldn't use Präteritum, but Perfekt. and instead of sogar you would use noch: Ich habe gewartet. Und gewartet. Und ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
11 votes

Saying "even more" as an adverb in German

For general purpose Huberts answer is correct. For this particular example I'd like to add that the most idiomatic translation into German would be "Ich wartete. Und wartete. Und wartete" - without ...
Volker Landgraf's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Is there any reason but aesthetics for the use of "dann mit" here?

The full text of the verse is: Ein kleines Edelweiß, das bringst du mir dann mit. Wenn du von deinen Bergen Wieder heimwärts ziehst Ich weiß es ganz genau Du pflückst es nur für mich Ich weiß es ganz ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 38.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Expression of woman sinking in the mud and waving

Googling "im moor sinken winken Frau", I found Siehst Du im Moor die Schwiegermutter winken, wink zurück und lass sie sinken. "When you see your mother in law waving from a bog, wave ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
  • 5,317
11 votes

What does "Was erlauben Sie sich?" mean?

See here: umgangssprachlich; Ausdruck von Empörung / Entrüstung; höfliche, aber energische Reaktion auf eine anmaßende Handlung eines anderen If somebody uses the phrase, he is usually indignant ...
Paul Frost's user avatar
  • 10.6k
10 votes
Accepted

Is the expression »an seinen Memoiren schreiben« correct?

You can ein Buch schreiben that denotes the whole work, from start to finish. And if you say ich habe ein Buch geschrieben we know you have finished the book. And you can an einem Buch ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64.7k
10 votes

What's the difference between "noch" and "immer noch?"

"noch" means that the eating is ongoing, but focuses on the fact that she'll be stopping at some future point in time. "immer noch" means that the eating is ongoing and has done so ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 14.8k

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