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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This article was produced independently with support from Lingoda.