How Do You Say Stay in German? Stay with Us, and You Will Find Out!
You might have heard a dog owner giving his or her dog a command that sounded suspiciously German. In fact, teaching a dog various commands in German is quite popular in many English-speaking countries. One of them is Bleib!, which means “Stay!” in English.
In today’s article, we will teach you how to say “stay” in German. It ranks among the most common words in English, and the same is true of its German translations. So, you don’t have to own a dog to find this lesson helpful.
Our German Frequency Dictionary series is a must if you want to learn new German vocabulary effectively. You will learn 10,000 most common words listed by frequency and alphabet. Learning new words by frequency is the fastest way to fluency!
How Do You Say Stay in German?
First, we will take a look at “to stay” as a verb, which is used in various situations, such as
- To not leave a place or situation (e.g. We stayed at home.)
- To continue doing something (e.g. The shops stay open until 8 o’clock.)
- To live somewhere for a short time as a visitor (e.g. We are staying in a hotel this time.)
Let’s see which German verb is used in these contexts.
How to Translate "to Stay" into German
The most universal translation is bleiben. It is pronounced [ˈblaɪ̯bən] in the IPA transcription. Remember that it is irregular, so you must remember its past forms – blieb – geblieben, auxiliary sein).
Below is an overview of the most common uses of this verb:
- To remain – Viele Schüler bleiben nach der Schule für sportliche Betätigungen. – A lot of pupils stay after school for sports activities. This usage corresponds to the first English situation, i.e. to not leave a place or situation.
- To continue – Es wird auch in der Zukunft so bleiben. – It will continue to be the case in the future, as well.
- To be left – Es bleibt keine andere Möglichkeit. – There is no other possibility left.
- Not to change (e.g. your mind or decision) – Ich bleibe bei meiner Meinung. – I will stick with my opinion.
As opposed to the English “stay,” bleiben is not used in the situation when you live somewhere for a short time as a visitor. Let’s take a look at the following example:
Wir sind im Hotel geblieben. – We stayed in a hotel. While you can translate the sentence like this, the meaning of “to stay” here is “to not leave a place or situation” and not “to live somewhere for a short time as a visitor.”
In German, you would use it when you want to say, for example, that you were too tired, so you stayed in the hotel and didn’t go out for a walk.
How to Translate to Stay Somewhere as a Visitor
The correct translation in this case is wohnen which means to live or to stay.
- To live – Wo genau in Österreich wohnen Sie? – Where exactly do you live in Austria?
- To stay – Zurzeit wohne ich bei meinen Eltern. – I’m staying at my parents’ now.
Another possible translation of “to live” is leben. The example is: Ich wünschte, wir könnten hier leben. – I wish we could live here.
Übernachten means “to spend the night” – Wir werden im Hotel übernachten. – We will stay in a hotel.
Similarly, you can use die Nacht verbringen = to spend the night. – Wir könnten hier die Nacht verbringen. – We could spend the night here.
Stay as a Noun in German
When you want to talk about a period of time that you want to spend in a place, you can use the following translations into German.
- (der) Aufenthalt (pronounced [ˈaʊ̯.fəntˌhalt] in the IPA transcription) – Ich hoffe, dass dein Aufenthalt bei uns dir gefallen hat. – I hope you enjoyed your stay with us.
(Der) Aufenthalt can also be translated as “residence” into English. You can form a beautiful German compound word (die) Aufenthaltsgenehmigung – a residence permit. If you find its pronunciation transcription ([ˈaʊ̯fʔɛnthaltsɡəneːmɪɡʊŋ]) too intimidating, you can listen to it here.
Another possible translation of (der) Aufenthalt is a stop. As in Es war der erste Aufenthalt meiner Reise. – It was the first stop on my journey.
- (der) Besuch (pronounced [bəˈzuːχ]) – Der ganze Besuch war eine nette Überraschung für mich. – My whole stay was full of nice surprises.
(Der) Besuch is derived from besuchen – to visit. Let’s take a look at another example sentence: Du hast dir für einen Besuch eine schlechte Zeit ausgesucht. – You didn't pick a good time for your visit.
Translating Common Phrases with “Stay” into German
- Stay in touch – in Kontakt bleiben
Similarly, you can use in Kontakt sein to express the same. Another possible translation is in Verbindung bleiben. (Die) Verbindung literally means a connection.
You can also say den Kontakt halten. As in Du solltest Kontakt zu den wichtigsten Menschen in deinem Leben halten. – You should stay in touch with the most important people in your life.
- Stay safe! – Pass auf dich auf!
The German equivalent relates more to the English “Take care.” If you want to use the polite version, say Passen Sie auf sich auf. A more literal translation would be bleib sicher, but it is less commonly used.
- Stay still! – Halt still!
The infinitive of the German verb is stillhalten. Still (pronounced [ʃtil] in the IPA transcription) means silent or quiet in English. The most common translation of halten is to keep or hold. You can say Kannst du nicht stillhalten? – Can’t you keep still?
How to Say Stay in German – A Quick Summary
Let’s sum up the most important information!
- The most common German translation of the verb is bleiben.
- It is irregular. Its past forms are blieb and geblieben. The auxiliary verb is sein.
- Don’t use bleiben when talking about staying somewhere as a guest. Use wohnen or übernachten
- Use (der) Aufenthalt as a noun. Another possible translation – (der) Besuch – can also mean “a visit.”
- It is often part of phrases, such as “stay still.” They often require different verbs (halten, aufpassen, and suchlike).
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