Same words but different meaning



Same spelling in German and English

Same words in English and German but different meaning


There are words in German and English which are spelt in the same way, but which have totally different meanings. These words may cause embarrassing situations for example: mobile phone or cell phone is called in German „Handy“, but the English word „handy“ has a different meaning.
So it is better to know them.


Words in German and English but with different meaning



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Words with A – B


English Word = German Translation

the angel (Eng) = der Engel


German Word = English Meaning

die Angel (Ger) = the fishing rod


the art = die Kunst
die Art = the species, the kind


bad (Eng) = böse, mies
das Bad (Ger) = the bathroom


bald (Eng) = kahl, glatzköpfig (ohne Haare auf dem Kopf)
bald (Ger) = soon


the boot (Eng) = der Stiefel
Boot (Ger) = the boat


brief (Eng) = kurz, kurz dargestellt
Brief (Ger) = the letter



Words with D – H


dank (Eng) = feucht, unangenehm feucht, nasskalt
Dank (Ger) = thank, the gratitude


fast (Eng) = schnell, flott, fix, rasch
fast (Ger) = almost


the gift (Eng) = das Geschenk, die Begabung
Gift (Ger) = the poison


the glut (Eng) = das Überangebot, die Fülle
Glut (Ger) = the embers, the glow


to grab (Eng) = greifen, zupacken
Grab (Ger) = the grave


the gut (Eng) = der Darm
gut (Ger) = good, well


the hall (Eng) = die Halle, der Korridor
der Hall
(Ger) = the echo, the resonance


handy (Eng) = handlich, passend, bequem
Handy (Ger) = cell phone, mobile phone


the hat (Eng) = der Hut
hat (Ger) = has (like: he has… = er hat…)



the hut (Eng) = die Hütte
der Hut (Ger) = the hat



Words with K – M


kind (Eng) = nett, gütig, lieb, freundlich, liebenswürdig
the kind (Eng) = die Art

das Kind (Ger) = the child


to lack (Eng) = fehlen, benötigen
the lack (Eng) = das Fehlen, die Ermangelung
der Lack
(Ger) = the lacquer, the varnish


the hell (Eng) = die Hölle
hell (Ger) = bright, fair, lucid


last (Eng) = letzte, letzter, letztes
die Last
(Ger) = the load, the burden


lied (Eng) = hat gelogen, log (like in: he lied = er hat gelogen)
das Lied
(Ger) = the song


the links (Eng) = die Verbindungen (pl.)
links (Ger) = left (like in: left and right)


the list (Eng) = die Liste
List (Ger) = the cunning, the artfulness, the craftiness


made (Eng) = machte, gemacht (like in: Made in Germany)
Made (Ger) = the maggot, the grub


the mark (Eng) = die Markierung, Kennzeichnung
Mark (Ger) = the marrow (like in: bone marrow = Knochenmark)


the mist (Eng) = der Nebel, feuchter Dunst
Mist (Ger) = the dung, the manure


most (Eng) = äußerst, am meisten
Most (Ger) = the must (like apple cider)


to mutter (Eng) = murmeln, murren
Mutter (Ger) = the mother



Words with N – S


not (Eng) = nicht
Not (Ger) = the emergency, the distress


the qualm(s) (Eng) = der Zweifel, die Zweifel
Qualm (Ger) = the smoke, the fume


the rat (Eng) = die Ratte
Rat (Ger) = the advice, the councel, the suggestion


the rind (Eng) = die Rinde, die Schale, die Schwarte
Rind (Ger) = the beef, the cattle


the rock (Eng) = der Stein
Rock (Ger) = the skirt


sage (Eng) = klug, weise, gescheit
Sage (Ger) = the legend, the myth, the saga


to see (Eng) = sehen
See (Ger) = the lake
die See (Ger) = the sea


sold (Eng) = verkaufte, hat verkauft (like in: Er hat sein Haus verkauft.)
Sold (Ger) = the guerdon, the soldier’s salary


stern (Eng) = ernst, streng, strikt
Stern (Ger) = the star


the stock (Eng) = die Aktie, der Bestand
Stock (Ger) = the cane, the stick, (but also a story in a building)


Homographs are words that are spelled the same but vary in pronunciation or meaning. But don’t get confused by terms like heteronyms, homographs, homophones or homonyms. It really doesn’t matter how they are called. Just repeat the words several times.

It is good to know these words, because some are very common and they are often a sources of misunderstanding. Keep the example for cellular phone in mind.


>>> Go back to the index – Same words in English and German

There are many similar words in German and English. 


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Datum: Mittwoch, 17. August 2011 12:28
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