German Language Blog

Similar German Words: Stimme, Stimmung, stimmen Posted by on Sep 11, 2019 in Language

Guten Tag! Today we’re going to look at three words that appear extremely similar, but which have different meanings. It can be confusing to a language learner to see a word that you think you recognise, only to find out it means something else entirely. So let’s start with three words: Stimme, Stimmung, and stimmen.

Die Stimme

Image via Pixabay

Die Stimme is the German word for voice. Like in English, this is both the speaking voice and the singing voice.

Meine Stimme ist weg!
I’ve lost my voice!

Sie hat eine sehr schöne Stimme.
She has a very beautiful (singing) voice.

The word die Stimme is also the German word for vote (the noun). This makes sense, as a vote is considered ‘speaking up’ for or against something.

So far, so good. Now it gets a little more complicated as we move onto the verb stimmen.


Image via Pixabay

This is a verb that has a few, different meanings:

  • to tune (an instrument)
  • to vote
  • to agree
  • to be correct/true

How do I tune my guitar?
Wie stimme ich meine Gitarre?
*This is always going to be talking about a musical instrument, so listen/look out for mention of an instrument!

I am voting today
Ich stimme heute
Like the noun die Stimme means vote, the verb stimmen means to vote.

I agree
Ich stimme zu
This is actually from the verb zustimmen (to agree), but I thought I’d include it because it is a separable verb, which means the ‘zu’ and the ‘stimme’ sections are separated when in a sentence. Look out for the ‘zu’ so you know this version of the verb means ‘to agree’.

That’s true.
Das stimmt.
*It’s only ever a thing that can stimmt, and not a person. So you’ll always hear ‘das/es stimmt’ rather than ‘er stimmt’ or ‘du stimmt’. Sometimes, people leave out the ‘das’ and just say stimmt as a way of agreeing with a statement. Stimmt!

die Stimmung

Image via Pixabay

So far, the connection between these words has loosely been about the voice. Enter die Stimmung, which throws yet another meaning into the mix!

Die Stimmung is the German word for mood/atmosphere.

Meine Stimmung ist im Keller.
My mood is in the cellar (I’m in a really bad mood).

Hier ist immer tolle Stimmung.
There’s always a fantastic atmosphere here.

Die Stimmung hier war immer negativ.
The atmosphere was always negative here.

The word die Laune also translates to ‘mood’. However, die Laune can only be used to describe a person’s mood. Die Stimmung, however, can describe the mood or atmosphere of places, events, and more!


I hope this has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about any of these words. Are there any German words like this, that are similar but different, that confuse you? What words would you like clarification on? Drop a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Bis bald (see you soon)!

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. David:

    Vielen Dank Constanze..! Dieser Beitrag war aber interessant..!

  2. GC:

    It was interesting and useful, thanks! Regarding mood…How do you say ‘I am in a bad mood’ with die Laune?

    • Constanze:

      @GC Glad you found it helpful! You can say “Ich habe schlechte Laune” – literally ‘I have bad mood’. 🙂