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Er lebt zu hause?

  • 1617

Tante Google translated "He lives at home" as Er lebt zu hause. I was checking out Google Translate and gave her this sentence. Is this an okay translation?

October 4, 2017



Both are ok - er lebt zuhause / er wohnt zuhause.


Hi Susan,

yes, both sentences are correct and used. But for me it sounds a little bit "strange" in the first place although the sentence is correct and I understand what it means.

The place of your permanent residence is called your home (zuhause) So "Er lebt zuhause" "He lives at home" is right. Where else should he live (except he is homeless). I would almost call this sentence a german phrase where's something missing. So if we hear this it implies to us that you are talking about his first/original residence, the home of his parents. That's what I would assume if you would tell me that. What's missing..

Er lebt NOCH zuhause (bei seinen Eltern). He still lives at home. Er wohnt noch zuhause (bei seinen Eltern). He has no flat/house where he lives on his own even if he is old enough to do so. He prefers "Hotel Mama".

leben/wohnen is in my opinion quite interchangeable. Sentences with "leben" sound a little bit more elegant, that's all. Er lebt noch bei seinen Eltern. Er wohnt noch zuhause. Both is correct and means the same. And "leben" is more used in contexts with areas, "wohnen" is more common if you are talking about your living place.

Ich komme aus Deutschland. Ich lebe in Berlin und wohne in der Beispielgasse 1a.

@Cluney "Er ist zuhause" means a current situation. He is at home not at work. ;-)

best regards Angel


So if I wanted to something that's current I would say 'Er ist zuhause'. If I wanted to do something that's a more broad sense I would say 'Er wohnt/lebt zuhause'?


Hi Cluney,

exactly. Let's say you are at home and a call on the telephone. Your mum is picking up.

"Hi, Angel hier. Ist Cluney da? Kann ich ihn bitte sprechen(/haben coll.)? Ja, er ist zuhause. Moment ich hole ihn. Hi, Angel here. Is Cluney at home? Can I talk to him? Yes, he's at home. Just a moment, I call him.

Lebt Cluney noch zuhause? Ja, er wohnt bei seinen Eltern, da er noch studiert und sich keine eigene Wohnung leisten kann. Is Cluney still living at home? Yes, he lives with his parents because he goes to university and can't afford a flat on his own.

best regards Angel


Seems to be. Since when you're at home it's 'Er ist zu Hause'. Therefore I personally see no problem with this sentence. (I'd be interested to see what others say on this especially our good friend Angel).


Sorry when he's at thome it's 'Er ist zu Hause'. Goofed that up and it seems I can't edit it soz.

  • 1617

Yes, I hope Angel, or any of several other good German speakers, answers this one. I was wondering about the use of wohnen and leben when I decided to check out what Google Translate would say. Why was I downvoted? I thought there were no stupid questions, hehe. Well, I have seen a couple. ;-)


Yes but this ain't one of them. From my understanding wohnen is more a synonym of where you reside and leben is more a synonym of where you live. But I may be wrong


You make me think of a German IKEA commercial with the tagline "Wohnst du noch oder lebst du schon?".

Your observation sounds good, though I think in English you'd more often say you live somewhere than you'd say you reside somewhere, in German it's more common to say "wohnen".

When you talk about streets or floors it's "wohnen".
"Ich wohne in der XYZ-Straße" - "I live in XYZ street."
"Ich wohne im 3. Stock." - "I live on the 3rd floor."

Countries are often with "leben", but can be "wohnen" as well, but it's not as common (I think it works with your distinction, if you reside in it, but for example work somewhere else, "wohnen" could be used).
"Ich lebe in Deutschland." - "I live in Germany."

Cities can be both "leben" und "wohnen", with a similar distinction, but "wohnen" isn't as rarely used, it's probably even more common than "leben". I'd also say it depends on how much you identify with the city you live in.

For living at home. Both "er lebt zuhause" and "er wohnt zuhause" are possible.


Seems all right to me, though "wohnen" would be the more precise verb in this case: "Er wohnt zu Hause."

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