1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. What's the difference between…


What's the difference between "Beziehung" and "Verhältnis"?

I've noticed that "Beziehung" and "Verhältnis" are both translated as "relationship". What's the difference between the two?

October 31, 2016



I'd really like to know that too ... I've always thought that Verhältnis was more of a ratio (more or less / in comparison to) relationship between things and that Beziehung was more like a direct connection between people / events (almost like a Verbindung). Maybe a native speaker can help us out?


German native speaker here - but probably I just suck in explaining or creating in context descriptions ...but I try to give some short examples as I personally see it.

Chooyo I guess you got it right.

Beziehung = could be a real constant partner (true love) relationship
could also mean: the correlation / connection between two things, not necessarily persons

Verhältnis could be a temporarily love / sexual partner relationship (e.g if either one is married and additional got a love affair)

Verwandtschaftsverhältnis (you usually do not say "Verwandtschaftsbeziehung"; but even that is IMHO not totally wrong) = kindship = connection between near and more far family members

Nachbarschaftsverhältnis: relation to neighbors; is it good or is it bad - how profound is it

synonyms Verhältnis (=Beziehung): objectively comparing things like mathematical x/y axis IMHO you usually use the word "Verhältnis" for that too.

Example Verhältnis: relation working hours to personal health/energy: The more you work overtime the more exhausted you will get in the long run and the sooner you could get ill if you do it too often / too long.

I hope there are some teachers around who do have more examples on hand and better descriptions :-)


Hello LegoLink, I'm not a native speaker but I did have this doubt back like some months ago. So, you can trust me as a guy that kinda found the difference but it'd be nice for you to find a native speaker and really confirm this.

The difference is that "die Beziehung" is about what kind of relation you have with someone, let's say a sister, a brother, a girlfriend, a friend. Now "das Verhältnis" is a rating of that a relationship, if it's good, bad, etc.

Hope I could ellaborate on that, I just got back from school, had 2 tests so I'm kinda tired.


OOH i'm dumb just looked down and a native answered haha

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.