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  5. "Die Tür ist zu."

"Die Tür ist zu."

Translation:The door is closed.

February 13, 2013



How many meanings does "zu" have??


Wow, such a powerful word :)


I think the power of a word is more likely to be inversely proportional to the number of its meanings ;-)


Apparenlty zu means whatever it wants, most of the time. That doesn't make it powerful, but rather ambiguous. And I thought English was full of colloquial phrases. Geez.


I'd imagine this saying bred the english phrase "to pull the door to"

Meaning - to close the door.

Or perhaps zu just means closed anyway ^^


Given that English developed from German, it likely happened the other way around.


Well, neither came from the other, they both came from Proto-Germanic. But yeah, "zu" is cognate with English "to" and "too".


You've helped me understand why zu worked in this sentence. Thanks!


Something I noticed:

  • auf / zu ---> (open / close) related to phisical mechanisms
  • an / aus ---> (on / off) related to electrical devices


  • "Das Fenster ist auf" (The window is open) / "Die Tür ist zu" (The door is closed)
  • "Das Radio ist an" (The radio is on) / "Der Fernseher ist aus" (The television is off)

In my experience, I remember a lot of confusion betwen "auf" and "aus". It seems to me that "close" and "off" should sound similar... but it is exactly the opposite: open = auf , off = aus.

The good news are that "on" and "an" are very similar. This can be helpful. :)


The reason for this is probably related to electric circuits. When a circuit is closed it is connected, while when it is open it has some break and current does not circulate in it. So when the television is off, the circuit is open, exactly like the window.

[deactivated user]

    'aus' means "out" as well as "off". i like to think of it as: "the television is out" as in "out of order". just a way remember it by. 'auf' has many uses and also means "by","of" and "upon". i don't think there is a causal relation between 'aus' and 'auf'. nor a common etymology. the similarity is probably accidental.
    the electricity thing is just another nice way to memorize it, nothing more.


    Thanks for your explanation! Very useful! (=


    Just memory .... Good luck!!


    I wrote this in French and it said I was correct LoL


    So is "zu" also an adjective? Could you say "Die zue Tür"? Also, how would you say the verb "to close"?

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