German word of the day: Eindeutig

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected] • 16 Dec, 2022 Updated Fri 16 Dec 2022 17:05 CEST
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Photo: Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Some things just go without saying. But if you do need to say it, there's a helpful German word for that.

Why do I need to know eindeutig?

Because you'll hear it thrown into conversations fairly regularly and it can be a helpful word to know - especially when stating the obvious. It can also add weight to your views and make you sound more confident when you're making your opinions known. 

What does it mean?

Eindeutig can be used in various ways, but it generally means clear, explicit or unambiguous. You can use it to talk about something you've read or heard where the meaning is clear to you, like a text in German class or a set of instructions. You may also hear people use it to talk about what they think is a clear solution to a problem or an obvious interpretation of an event. 

Broken down into smaller components, "ein" obviously means "one" and the verb "deuten" means to read or interpret. So if something is eindeutig, you're essentially saying there's only one possible interpretation - and no room for ambiguity.

In contrast, something that's zweideutig has more than one meaning. In other words, it's ambiguous. 

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Umstritten

Use it like this:

Jeder hat die eindeutige Aussage verstanden.

Everyone understood the unambiguous statement.

Die Lösung für dieses Problem ist eindeutig.

The solution to this problem is clear-cut.



Imogen Goodman 2022/12/16 17:05

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