How to tell "friend" from "boyfriend" if both are Freund?
So I was wondering how I would say something like "my friend and I did (insert thing here) together" without it sounding like "boyfriend" because from what I understand, "mein Freund und ich haben (etwas) gemacht" could be interpreted as both, and I don't need random Germans thinking I'm a homosexual. Is there a more unambiguous way to say "my friend"? Danke schön im Voraus, Dave
Sometimes ambiguity cannot be avoided if you don't want to sound awkward, but try to use ein Freund / eine Freundin with your normal friends and mein Freund / meine Freundin with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Ich habe gestern etwas mit einem Freund gemacht. - normal friend
Ich habe gestern etwas mit meinen Freund gemacht. - Boyfriend.
I can't say from experience, but I'm gonna guess that context is important here in the same way that English speakers don't question whether or not a girl talking about her "girlfriends" is a polyamorous lesbian. In any case, I'm also gonna wager that a lot of Germans wouldn't care anyway, although I'd certainly love to get some perspective from someone that knows better than I do.
Yes it is somewhat ambiguous, but most times you can tell by context. If you are a girl "mein Freund" will much more likely mean "boyfriend" than if you're a boy. Also you could use the name of the friend, "mein Freund Peter und ich", because if you use the name to distinguish then there must also be others so it can't be your boyfriend. In fact, if i think about it, you would only use "mein Freund" if your discussion partner already knows who you're talking about, otherwise you would use "ein Freund" or "mein Freund Peter" instead of "mein Freund".
We are now calling our boy/girlfriends something else altogether... long live German compound nouns ;-)
But the "Teil" part here is obsolete, since we already have "Abschnitt" in there. It kind of creates a tautology. Maybe it was Lebensteilgefährtin...? Still sounds a bit odd. But that's the fun of it, I guess ;-)
I imagine the "Teil" part ranks it somewhere between "bed & breakfast" and "will co-sign the Xmas cards".
It sounds a bit serious - like saying 'my significant other' in English.
Yeah, I'd say that "Lebensgefährte" is more like "partner", as in someone you are married to in all but name.
And the newer "Lebensabschnittsgefährte" (a word I hate) denotes a similarly serious relationship - stronger than just "boyfriend", I'd say.