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Brand vs. Brand - Tricky False Friends in German and English

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

In this series of blog post, I'm trying to help students avoid the most common mistakes with false friends between German and English. False friends (the official term being "false cognates") are pairs of words that are often similar in spelling but with a significantly different meaning. The last three parts dealt with "Gift" in German, the English also and its meaning in German, and the English "bald" vs. the German "bald". Today, we look at "brand" vs. "Brand". What is the difference?

The English noun "brand" refers to the trade name of a company, while the German noun "der Brand" means "fire".

Apple ist eine sehr beliebte Marke (Apple is a very popular brand)

Hilfe! Hilfe! Es gibt ein Feuer im Haus (Help! Help! There is a fire in the house).

You might wonder why we don’t use the word “das Feuer” in the above. The reason is that the German language distinguishes between a normal fire and one that affects and damages a house, an area etc., which we then call “Brand”.

All clear? Then read up about other confusing German words and the infamous German grammar. On our blog, you will find posts on many topics in German grammar that will help you to progress more quickly in German- from adjective endings in German, the four German cases, pronouns, prepositions to German syntax.

Find out more about our German lessons, small German classes, and new online German courses here.



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