Some suggestions on how to say Freund/Freundin and be clear that you don't mean boyfriend/girlfriend
Hey Everyone. The issue of 'Freund' either meaning 'Friend' or 'Boyfriend' is often a quite troubling one for English people learning German. In English it is very clear on how to say you have a 'friend' as in someone you've spent time with and enjoy spending time, as opposed to 'Boyfriend/Girlfriend' Someone you have a deeper relationship often connected with the emotion of love.
However in German this is not so easy as the word for 'Friend' and 'Boyfriend/Girlfriend' are actually use the same word, 'Freund/Freundin'. However while watching a German teacher on a website called 'Skillshare' I found some tips to avoid confusion. I am taking these from his lesson so they should all be correct but if any native Germans see any problems with the sentences please let me know :)
Ok so here's the first example: 'Ich gehe mit meinem Freund ins Theater'. Once again we can see that the meaning is ambiguous. However in the lesson I took the man giving the lesson gave a very good suggestion. It is removing one letter. Here's the sentence again how he suggested 'Ich gehe mit einem Freund ins Theater'. You can see that in this sentence the M in MEINEM has been dropped ending up with the word EINEM. Meaning A/AN. This makes it much less ambiguous as you are now saying 'A' friend instead of 'MY' Friend which can also mean 'my boyfrind'.
Ok that's that sentence and you can use this method in different sentences. My German teacher also said you could use 'Ein Freund von mir'. For example if you have a friend called 'Anna' then to make sure people don't think she's your girlfriend you can just say 'Anna ist eine Freundin von mir'.
There is a problem with all of this though. The sentence my German teacher taught me was 'Ich war gestern mit einer Freunding beim Shoppen. Ich wollte rote Schuhe kaufen, aber eine Freundin von mir mag rot nicht'. Seems simple enough, we made sure that we said this wasn't our girlfriend. Well unfortunately it isn't that easy. Because when we said 'eine Freundin von mir' it is unclear on whether this was the same friend that came to the shop or another friend that I am talking about. So he said that we need to instead say 'My friend'. He didn't actually show the sentence again but I assume this is how it would go now 'Ich war gestern mit einer Freundin eim Shoppen. Ich wollte rot Schuhe kaufen, aber MEINE Freundin mag rot nicht.'. So the sentence is still ambiguous but if you are unsure you can always explain that it's not your girlfriend just a friend.
Once again if anyone thinks that what I have said is incorrect than please let me know cause I don't want to be saying incorrect things. I hope this does help. My suggestion is to use 'Ein Freund' when possible but some sentences are more difficult than others.
Ps. Many people have said that since you already clarified that she is not your girlfriend you can just use 'sie'. So that would go like 'Ich war gestern mit einer Freundin beim Shoppen. Ich wollte rot Schuhe kaufen, aber sie mag rot nicht'. Thanks for that cause that is actually much easier to say.
Since you made clear in your first sentence that the girl was just a friend you don't need to repeat the statement over and over again. As long as you do not introduce a real girlfriend in your text everyone will know that this friend is just a friend
I agree with Hannibal and Dirk.
'Ich war gestern mit einer Freundin beim shoppen. Ich wollte rote Schuhe kaufen, aber sie mag rot nicht / sie mag kein rot.'
The pronoun clarifys the situation.
Ich wollte rot Schuhe kaufen, aber MEINE Freundin mag rot nicht.
Would mean that you want to buy red shoes with or for your friend but your girlfriend doesn't like red.
But you are right, the difference between 'ein Freund / eine Freundin' und 'mein Freund / meine Freundin' is the same like 'friend' and 'girl/boyfriend'. For people we wouldn't really call a good friend we also use the word 'Bekannter/Bekannte'.
best regards, Angel
Two examples, just to make sure how many people are involved.
I there is only one friend (like Hannibal said):
Ich war gestern mit einer Freundin beim Shoppen. Ich wollte rote Schuhe kaufen, aber sie mag rot nicht.
If there is a friend (for shopping) and a girlfriend (who doesn't like red shoes):
Ich war gestern mit einer Freundin beim Shoppen. Ich wollte rote Schuhe kaufen, aber meine Freundin mag rot nicht.
But to avoid confusion, you could use another word for your girlfriend like mein Schatz (my sweetheart) or mein Liebling (my darling).
Very interesting thoughts hier, and I benefitted greatly bei reading them.
In your first example, in print it's fine, but read it out loud and you notice 'freund ins Theatre' sounds really close (as you mention elsewhere, but one letter difference) to 'freundin Theatre."
No pun in ten did.
:) ;) :u
Hi, I am dating a German and asked this same question.
Simple put, they say "my friend" for someone you have a relationship with, and "one of my friends" / "a friend" when platonic.