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"Ess" or "Eszett"???

When I began learning German, there were enigmatic and arcane rules about when to use “ess” and when to use “eszett”. It was “wissen” but “wußte”. It was “daß”. Now, since the so-called “German Language Reform”, it is “dass” not “daß”. It is “Schluss’ but “Schloß”. It is “Fuß” but “Fluss”. It’s STILL enigmatic and arcane. What did the “Reform” accomplish? Can someone PLEASE explain to me when we should use “ess” and when “eszett”? I cannot tell from our lady’s pronunciation which consonant she is using.

May 18, 2012

1 Comment


Actually, the language reform made it easier (if you know how the word is to be pronounced). Use "ss" after every consonant and every short vowel (e.g. bcdfghjklm... and 'a' in 'dass'), use "ß" after every long pronounced vowels and more than one vowel (e.g. 'a' in 'saß' and 'au' in 'draußen'). The only exception are place names and personal names. p.s.: If you apply the new rules "Schloß" is wrong. It has to be "Schloss". But remember: "Schloss" may well be a part of a place name and therefore "Schloß"...

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