Leçons Allemand

Thèmes

Expressing Emotional States in German

It has truly been a year of ups and downs, to the extent that it takes a pretty advanced vocabulary to describe what we're feeling sometimes. This week, we'd like to provide a list of some adjectives that are used to express both positive and negative emotions. 

The adjective aufgeregt in German describes a mixture of "excited" and "nervous," like before you do a presentation or go on a roller coaster. On the other hand, gespannt is used to describe a type of excitement more linked to curiosity or looking forward to something. Besorgt could be translated as "worried" or "concerned."

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Gleich geht's los, ein bisschen aufgeregt bin ich schon.

It will start momentarily, I am certainly a little bit nervous.

Caption 3, Deutsche Welle - Hin und weg: Best of Europa-Park!

 Play Caption

 

ich bin mal gespannt, wie es klappt. Ich hoffe, es gefällt euch.

I am excited to see how it will go. I hope you like it.

Caption 41, Eva Croissant: Interview

 Play Caption

 

Ich bin ein bisschen besorgt, ob ich es zu der Wohnung von den beiden schaffe.

I'm a little bit worried as to whether I'll be able to make it to their apartment.

Caption 21, Die Wohngemeinschaft: Besuch

 Play Caption

 

When something turns out well, your reaction may range from zufrieden ("pleased," "satisfied") to erstaunt ("astonished"), depending on whether the outcome was expected or not. 

 

Ich bin sehr zufrieden. Für diese gute Leistung geb ich dir eine Eins.

I'm very satisfied. I'll give you a "one" for this good performance.

Caption 51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bayern

 Play Caption

 

Eine Freundin von mir war schon einmal in der Hauptstadt Oslo und sie war begeistert.

A friend of mine was already in the capital, Oslo, once and she was thrilled.

Caption 11, Jenny Reiseziele

 Play Caption

 

Die Menschen waren erstaunt über das, was sie sahen.

The people were astonished at what they saw.

Caption 63, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Des Kaisers neue Kleider

 Play Caption

 

Of course, many of us have had our share of difficult experiences this year and had to face their corresponding emotions:

 

Ich war total gestresst, weil mein Chef im Büro mich so genervt hat.

I was totally stressed out because my boss was really getting on my nerves at the office.

Caption 19, Konjugation: Das Verb „brauchen“

 Play Caption

 

Müde und erschöpft stand er schließlich vor ihrer Tür.

Tired and exhausted, he finally stood in front of their door.

Caption 20, Märchen - Sagenhaft Die Büchse der Pandora

 Play Caption

 

Die Leute wären genauso enttäuscht und genauso deprimiert.

People would be just as disappointed and depressed.

Caption 55, Böhmermann: Wie geht man als Satiriker mit Rechtspopulismus um?

 Play Caption

 

Na ja, also, der Junge ist einfach schlichtweg überfordert mit dem Projekt.

Well... well, the boy is just completely overwhelmed by the project.

Caption 8, Mama arbeitet wieder: Die Trennung

 Play Caption

 

The hope is, of course, that we can generally find a balance and remain optimistic as the year comes to an end.

 

 

Ich bin sehr zufrieden. Für diese gute Leistung geb ich dir eine Eins.

I'm very satisfied. I'll give you a "one" for this good performance.

Caption 51, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bayern

 Play Caption

 

Ich versuche, optimistisch zu bleiben, aber ich habe das Gefühl, dass ich die Stelle nicht bekommen habe.

I am trying to stay optimistic, but I have the feeling that I didn't get the job.

Captions 4-5, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

 Play Caption

 

Wart ihr sehr aufgeregt oder wart ihr ganz entspannt?

Were you very nervous or were you totally relaxed?

Caption 37, Modedesignerin Nina Hollein: Floria Prinzessin von Hessen

 Play Caption

 

Further Learning
There are many more adjectives you can look up on Yabla German, of course. You can start with erleichtert, frohverärgert, verzweifelt, wütend, verängstigt, and zuversichtlich. Since adjectives and adverbs can often be identical in German, do not be surprised if you encounter these words being used as adverbs as well — it's a 2 for 1 deal! 

German Expressions of Enthusiasm

Since we devoted one lesson to expressions of frustration, let's look at how enthusiasm is expressed in German as well and take a look at some positive adjectives. 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

„Ich muss sagen: überwältigend!“ -„Ausgezeichnet! Ausgezeichnet, finde ich!“

"I must say, overwhelming!" -"Brilliant! Brilliant, I think!"

Caption 54, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Des Kaisers neue Kleider

 Play Caption

 

Ausgezeichnet is also the participle of the verb auszeichnen, which means to award or distinguish.

 

Mit dem Architekturpreis Green Building wurden in Frankfurt kürzlich acht Gebäude ausgezeichnet.

Eight buildings in Frankfurt were recently awarded the Green Building architecture prize.

Caption 1, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

 Play Caption

 

Many of these adjectives don't have a fixed translation ("outstanding," "awesome"), but are instead best translated with the positive adjective that fits in the context.

 

Es ist wirklich großartig, von Ihnen zu hören.

It is really great to hear from you.

Caption 20, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

 Play Caption

 

Das ist natürlich auch toll, wenn man 'ne gemeinsame Sache hat.

Of course, it's also great when you have something in common.

Caption 8, 2raumwohnung - Liebe mit Musik am Laufen halten

 Play Caption

 

Das klingt hervorragend.

That sounds amazing.

Caption 42, Berufsleben - Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

 Play Caption

 

Of course, the adjectives superfantastisch, and exzellent will sound quite familiar to anyone who speaks English. Also easy to recognize is the adjective wunderbar:

 

Und da ist dann der Balkon. -Ah, mit Balkon, wunderbar.

And there then is the balcony. -Ah, with a balcony, wonderful.

Caption 43, Fine - sucht eine Wohnung

 Play Caption

 

Another adjective you may come across, especially with younger Germans, is geil. Yes, this does indeed also have a meaning that is not appropriate in most conversations! But it is a common, albeit slang, term for "awesome" or "fantastic" as well.

 

Und wie war's? -Geil, wie immer. -Was speziell?

And how was it? -Awesome, as always. -What especially?

Caption 10, Abenteuer und Sport - Fallschirmspringen

 Play Caption

 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
All of these adjectives and more can be found on Yabla German. Pay attention to adjective declension any time they precede a noun. 

Gelegenheit, Angelegenheit and gelegen

I still sometimes find it difficult, despite speaking German for decades, to distinguish between the two nouns die Gelegenheit and die Angelegenheit. In all fairness, though, the fact that prefixes like an-, be-, ver-, ent-, etc. radically alter the meanings of German words is part of what makes German difficult for English speakers.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Let's start by stripping Gelegenheit of its -heit suffix, leaving us with the adverb/adjective gelegen:

 

...eine Kleinstadt für sich, gelegen entlang der schweiz-französischen Grenze.

...a small town on its own, located along the Swiss-French border.

Caption 2, Die Weltmaschine - Der LHC-Teilchenbeschleuniger

 Play Caption

 

Vor der abseits gelegenen Düne gelang ihm eine sensationelle Entdeckung:

In front of this remotely situated dune, he managed to make a sensational discovery:

Captions 22-23, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption

 

Thus gelegen is usually translated as "located" or situated," though it also can mean "desired" (erwünscht) or "opportune" (günstig). When we add the suffix -heit and make it a noun, it becomes: 

 

Die Gelegenheit lässt sich Florian nicht entgehen.

Florian doesn't let this opportunity slip by.

Caption 18, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption

 

Dann lernst du ihn auch gleich kennen bei der Gelegenheit.

Then you'll also get to know him right away on this occasion.

Caption 28, Fine - sucht einen Hammer

 Play Caption

 

Die Gelegenheit is almost always translated as "opportunity," except when preceded with the preposition bei, when it's usually translated as "occasion." On a more humorous note, just as "the facilities" are used in English as a polite euphemism for the toilet, so too is die Gelegenheit an old-fashioned euphemism in German for das WC. A perhaps overly polite way to ask where the toilet is would be Wo ist hier die Gelegenheit, bitte? 

 

Die Angelegenheit is, on the other hand, literally a different matter altogether: 

 

Die Königin war fuchsteufelswild und beschloss, die Angelegenheit jetzt selbst in die Hand zu nehmen.

The Queen was "fox devil wild" [slang: angry] and decided to take the matter into her own hands now.

Captions 55-56, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Schneewittchen

 Play Caption

 

Musste zufällig jemand den Kaiser in kaiserlichen Angelegenheiten sprechen, gaben seine Diener stets dieselbe Antwort.

Should someone need to speak to the emperor about imperial affairs, his servants always gave the same answer.

Captions 20-21, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Des Kaisers neue Kleider

 Play Caption

 

I use this mnemonic device to remember the difference between Gelegenheit and Angelegenheit:

 

–An "opportunity" should be easy and is thus the shorter of the two words, Gelegenheit. 

 

–A political affair or business matter tends to suggest difficult bureaucratic procedures and is thus the longer word Angelegenheit.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German to find other examples of gelegen, Gelegenheit and Angelegenheit as used in real-world context.

Adjective Declensions: Definite Articles

It's sometimes not a bad idea to make sure some of that "old knowledge" is still accurate, so let's get back to basics: adjective declensions with definite articles. To make it as easy as possible, remember the following three rules for adjective endings:

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

1. All adjectives in the singular nominative case end in -e, regardless of noun gender. Here is an example with the singular masculine nominative:

 

Der alte Minister ging in den Saal.

The old minister went into the hall.

Caption 37, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Des Kaisers neue Kleider

 Play Caption

 

2. All adjectives in the dative or genitive cases, as well as all adjectives in plural form, end in -en regardless of the noun's gender. Here is an example with the plural genitive: 

 

Der Kaufmann ließ es sich schmecken und verbrachte die Nacht in einem der schönen Schlafräume.

The Merchant enjoyed the meal and spent the night in one of the beautiful bedrooms.

Captions 25-26, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Schöne und das Biest

 Play Caption

 

3. This is the hard one: Adjectives for masculine nouns in the singular accusative case end in -en, but adjectives for feminine and neuter nouns in the singular accusative case end in -e. Here is an example with the single masculine accusative:

 

So gibt es hier die elektrische Gitarre für den abgebrühten [Umgangssprache] Rockstar.

Thus there is the electric guitar here for the jaded rock star.

Caption 2, Rhein-Main-TV aktuell - Musikmesse in Frankfurt

 Play Caption

 

If the noun above had been feminine (or neuter), it would have dropped the -n: ...für die abgebrühte Musikerin.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Further Learning
There is a system for remembering adjective endings that many people find easy to remember called the Oklahoma — see if it works for you. (A special hat tip to Yabla subscriber Mike S. for that!) You can also search for some of your favorite adjectives on Yabla German and review the ways the adjectives end in the different cases with different noun genders.

Vous aimerez aussi