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er meint vs. er sagt

Hello everyone, recently I've been reading a book and a part of it left me confused:

"Das ist etwas für Maedchen", meint er.

So I understand that meinen used as not mean but say, but why sagen wasn't used there?

February 3, 2018



Here, "he" expresses his opinion (in German: "er drückt seine Meinung aus", and the verb "meinen" --> "er meint" is derived from "Meinung" = "opinion"). You could as well write "sagt er". The words "meint er" are just used as an alternative, and they stress that it is just his opinion.


Is it like denken vs finden?


You can use the example sentence above with these verbs as well:

"Das ist etwas für Mädchen", sagt er.

"Das ist etwas für Mädchen", meint er.

"Das ist etwas für Mädchen", findet er.

"Das ist etwas für Mädchen", denkt er.

While "sagen" sounds neutral, the other verbs give deeper intention on personal opinions or ways of thinking.

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