https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soniaasim28

When to use "beziehungsweise/bzw."?

There are two meanings of this word on duden.de

  • genauer gesagt

ich war mit ihm bekannt beziehungsweise befreundet

  • und im anderen Fall, respektive

ihre Tochter und ihr Sohn sind sechs beziehungsweise acht Jahre alt

but my friend from Austria says the second one is a little bit strange

February 27, 2018

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

I agree with your friend. The second sentence sounds a bit stilted to me. Normally, people would rather say:
"Sie hat zwei Kinder. Ihre Tochter ist sechs und ihr Sohn ist acht (Jahre alt)."
The sentence you quote sounds "legalese" to me.

I generally feel that "bzw." is overused in German. In most cases, a simple "und" or "oder" would be enough.

In your first sentence, I would probably rather say: "Ich war mit ihm bekannt oder eher befreundet".

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soniaasim28

and what about this sentence "Ich stamme aus Lübeck, beziehungsweise aus einem Dorf in der Nähe"?

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

I think it's OK.

The other sentence, "bekannt bzw. befreundet", is OK, too; I would probably only rather avoid it. And I think this is due to the emotional content that goes with it (to me, it sounds awkward to combine the emotional content of "befreundet" with the rather distanced "bzw.". But this can be just me :-)).

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soniaasim28

danke schön ^-^

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jzsuzsi

Would you use beziehungsweise in a math problem?

For example: Let a and b be the side lengths of square A and square B, respectively.

Seien a und b beziehungsweise die Seitenlängen des Quadrats A und Quadrat B

(I guess my German sentence is bad....)

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/33Zkcf3G

In this sentence, you would rather use "jeweils" or no extra word at all. You could use "beziehungsweise", but that would be a case of 'overuse' as Heike already mentioned in a comment above. A simple 'und' or 'oder' would do. So the sentence in German could be: - Seien a und b die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A und B. - Seien a und b jeweils die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A und B. - Seien a und b jeweils die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A bzw. B. - Seien a und b die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A bzw. B. - Seien a bzw. b die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A und B. - Seien a bzw. b die Seitenlängen der Quadrate A bzw. B.

The last sentence maybe formally correct, but sound really uncommon. As Heike already wrote: 'bzw.' is used here where a simple 'und' would do fine. (But you will find it both ways in mathematics books)

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7hAu0bvY

well the second one is typical high german meaning it is mostly used by people who do not or rearly speak dialect. so it is no wonder your friend from austria thinks it is strange ;-)

March 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Dutch_Girl

For a while, I've been wondering what "bzw." is and means. In my head, I often unintentionally read it as "By ze way"!

April 4, 2018
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