German phrase of the day: Bescheid sagen

This handy German phrase can be heard when you're awaiting an answer.

German phrase of the day: Bescheid sagen
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Why do I need to know it? 

It’s a quick and easy way to request that someone follow up with you, and vice versa. You’ll hear it all the time in spoken German, and text exchanges between friends and colleagues.

What does it mean?

Bescheid sagen can be a tricky phrase to understand when hearing it for the first time, but if you break it down, you’ll get a glimpse into the term’s meaning. Bescheid means “notification” or “answer” and sagen means “to tell”. Taken together, then, Bescheid sagen roughly translates as “to let someone know”.  

The origins of the phrase are unclear, but Bescheid itself comes from the verb bescheiden, which in old, bureaucratic German meant “to make a decision on someone else’s claim”. Bescheid as a noun emerged from this context to mean the written form of such a decision. For example, a Bussgeldbescheid is a notice of a fine.

READ ALSO: What are the most common German words that no longer exist?

When used in a sentence, Bescheid sagen is also accompanied by a pronoun to indicate the “someone” you are referring to. This pronoun will always be in the dative case. For example, you would say sag mir Bescheid to mean “let me know,” and sag ihm Bescheid to mean “let him know”.

But because you can usually infer who the person is based on the context, many people will often drop the pronoun and just ask you to, sag’ Bescheid if they want you to keep them posted.

Beyond using the phrase as a request for updates, you can also use it in a declarative way, as in ich sage (dir/ihr/ihm) Bescheid.-  “I’ll let (you/her/him) know”. 

You might also hear the phrase Bescheid geben used occasionally, as it has the same meaning as Bescheid sagen but is less common. If you want to say “let me know” in a more formal manner, try “lassen mich es wissen” or “teilen Sie mir mit”.

Use it like this: 

Sag (mir) Bescheid, wenn du fertig bist.

Let me know when you are done. 

Ich sage dir Bescheid, wenn ich Hilfe brauche.

I’ll let you know if I need help.

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German word of the day: Sommerlich

Dazzling blue skies and sweltering temperatures mean summer has arrived in Germany, and if you're looking for a word to describe how that feels, this is the perfect one to choose.

German word of the day: Sommerlich

Why do I need to know sommerlich?

Because this joyful word is not just easy to remember, but is also great for describing those days in Germany when the sun is shining and everyone seems to be in a relaxed and happy mood – as well as many other aspects of summer.

What does it mean?

As you might have guessed, sommerlich (pronounced like this) is an adjective that’s very close to the English word “summery” or “summer-like”. It describes anything that is typical of this time of year, whether you’re talking about the weather, what you’re drinking or the look you’ve gone for on a particular day.

For example, if you head out to the countryside for a short summer break, you might find yourself in the midst of a sommerliche Landschaft: a summery landscape with forests and fields with wild flowers in full bloom. 

Or you could be taken by surprise by a sudden heat wave and express regret that you haven’t had a chance to restock your sommerliche Klamotten, or summery clothes. 

READ ALSO: 10 words to help you enjoy the German summer

Mostly, though, you’ll find this word used to talk about those classic summer days with balmy weather and sunny skies, or weather conditions that feel like summer – even if it’s the wrong time of year. 

If you want to say something is more summery than something else, sommerlicher is the word you’ll need, and if something is the most summery of all, it’s am sommerlichsten

Use it like this: 

Bei diesen Temperaturen will ich immer ein erfrischender und sommerlicher Getränke in der Hand haben. 

In these temperatures I always want a refreshing and summery drink in my hand.

Ich liebe diese entspannte sommerliche Tage! Es ist wie im Urlaub zu sein. 

I love these relaxed summer days! It’s like being on holiday.