Similar German Words: Stimme, Stimmung, stimmen Posted by Constanze 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 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.
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.
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’.
*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!
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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