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Eifersüchtig vs. Neidisch

In the English language, many people confuse the words "jealous" and "envious." This occurs in German as well, which can make it even harder to distinguish between the words eifersüchtig and neidisch and know when to use which one. 


"Jealousy" occurs when the underlying emotion is a fear that someone will take away something that you have. This means that die Eifersucht often occurs in situations involving three people, like in the sentence below:


Was? Nee, nee, das war nur mein Kollege.

What? No, no, that was just my colleaugue.

Nein, das ist kein Grund, eifersüchtig zu sein.

No, it's no reason to be jealous.

Captions 49-50, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Zum ersten Mal in ihrem Leben verspürte sie Stiche von Wut und Eifersucht.

For the first time in her life, she felt stings of anger and jealousy.

Caption 61, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Büchse der Pandora

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"Envious" is simply wanting what someone else has or gets to do. In German, there is the noun der Neid, the adjective neidisch, and also the verb jemanden beneiden.


Wütend und neidisch zugleich

Angry and envious at the same time,

stampfte er auf dem Berg der Götter umher.

he stomped around on the Mountain of the Gods.

Caption 14, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Büchse der Pandora

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Reinhold Leinberger, den ich heiß darum beneide,

Reinhold Leinberger, whom I envy very much because of it,

der durfte nämlich mit Ihnen fliegen.

was actually permitted to fly with you.

Caption 20, Ultraleicht-Flieger - Der Gyrocopter

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Further Learning
Can you find a video on Yabla German in which eifersüchtig is used, but the speaker actually means neidisch?

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