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German word of the day: Die Erklärungsnot

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German word of the day: Die Erklärungsnot
Photo: depositphotos
This content was produced independently by The Local and contains advertiser links.
10:16 CET+01:00
Today’s word of the day is an interesting one, as it means that you are probably about to win an argument.

Let’s start this with an example: You and your friend are in an argument, both of you have different points to make.

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You just presented a killer argument and asked a follow up question. Your friend is now starting to sweat, struggling to find the right words to answer that question.

Congratulations, you just brought your friend into a situation of Erklärungsnot.

Erklärungsnot is a combination of the words Erklärung (“explanation”) and Not (in this case best translated with “need.”)

Hence it means the (urgent) need to explain something. That can be either yourself or a situation. It’s the feeling of being pressured into presenting a situation, as you want it to be. As for this explanation, it can also mean to struggle explaining something.

Erklärungsnot therefore can be a situation that is good for you if you win the argument, but you might want to avoid getting into Erklärungsnot yourself.

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It seems like this woman has found herself in an Erklärungsnot. Photo: depositphotos


Als ich sie gefragt habe, wo sie gestern Nacht war, ist sie in Erklärungsnot geraten.

When I asked her where she was last night, she struggled to explain.

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Do you have a favourite word you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion.

This article was produced independently with support from Lingoda.

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