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Ways To Say “I Don’t Mind” In German Posted by on Apr 28, 2021 in Language

Guten Tag! Whilst it’s fairly easy to express yourself with yes and no in German, do you know how to say “I don’t mind”? How do you respond if someone presents a couple of options to you, and you don’t mind either way which one is chosen? Alternatively, how do you let someone know – perhaps in a more heated conversation – that you really don’t care about what they’re saying? Today we’re going to look at different ways of saying “I don’t mind” or “I don’t care” in German. This post focuses on neutral/polite phrases, whilst a follow-up post will focus on more heated or unusual expressions!

Ways to say “I don’t mind” or “I don’t care” in German – neutral phrases

Note that all of these phrases could still come across as rude if your tone of voice is so. By calling these ‘neutral’ phrases I simply mean the words in the phrases themselves aren’t offensive – there’s no swearing, for example.

i don't mind

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Das ist mir egal – I don’t mind either way

This is probably the most common way of saying “I don’t mind” in German. If you memorise just one of these phrases today, make it this one! It’s very straight-forward and can be used in any situation.

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Egal – Either way/doesn’t matter

Alternatively, the phrase ‘Das ist mir egal’ sometimes gets shortened to just ‘Egal’. This is a very laid back, chilled out way of expressing you don’t mind, but it’s still polite.

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Meinetwegen – I don’t mind

Meinetwegen is one of those curious German words that has a few different meanings, depending on the context it’s used in, but it is a way of saying “I don’t mind”. You might simply reply “Meinetwegen” to mean “OK, sure”. Another way of using it is to say something like, “Mach dir meinetwegen keine Sorgen” – “Don’t worry about me”, when you want to make it clear that you’re not fussed either way about the outcome of something. Note that – as with all of these phrases and words – meinetwegen can also sound blunt/rude, depending on your tone of voice!

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Das kümmert mich nicht – I don’t care about that/that doesn’t concern me

This is a phrase that translates more to “I don’t care” than “I don’t mind”. You might use it to express that something is none of your business, or doesn’t bother/worry you. The verb kümmern means ‘to concern yourself with’ or ‘to take care of’.

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Das macht mir nichts aus – That makes no difference to me/that’s fine by me

This phrase can be used to express that something is fine, good to go ahead, etc., such as:

Ich muss mein Auto für eine halbe Stunde hier lassen. Geht das?
Ja, das macht mir nichts aus.

I need to leave my car here for half an hour. Is that OK?
Yeah, that’s fine by me.

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Das ist mir gleichgültig – It’s all the same to me/I don’t care

Gleichgültig translates to ‘indifferent’, so saying ‘Das ist mir gleichgültig’ means you have no real attachment to any of the options that’ve been presented to you.

i don't mind

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Look out for next week’s blog post, which will focus on the more heated or unusual ways of saying “I don’t care” and “I don’t mind”!

Bis dann (until then)!
Constanze

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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.


Comments:

  1. Jeffrey Berlin:

    Sie haben das gut erklärt. Sie schrieb, dass viel ist von Ihnen geschrieben. Sind sie leicht ergänglich? Gerne hätte ich einige lesen.

  2. Sokrates5:

    Thanks for this article. I would find it helpful to add an explanation as to why the dative case is used in many of these phrases. Is it because the verbs take the dative or because I am the beneficiary? I found this article on dative only verbs https://www.olesentuition.co.uk/single-post/dative-only-verbs-in-german-on-why-germans-say-wie-gehts-dir

  3. Mokcyn:

    A friend was explaining to me how to ask “Do you mind that/if etc etc …” “Macht es dir was aus, etc etc …?. Can one think of it as ” Is if fine by you, that/if etc etc …”? (Any incorrect grammar here is my fault, not hers lol.)

    • Constanze:

      @Mokcyn Hallo Mokcyn, I would personally translate “Macht es dir was aus” as “Would you mind” or “Would it bother you”. “Is it fine by you, if…” sounds a little awkward in English, though its meaning is clear. 🙂 Hope that helps!


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