German Lessons


Expressions using Tisch, Part II

In Part I of "Expressions using Tisch," we explored a number of German idioms that use the noun der Tisch. Let's take a look at some more of them today!


Wo ist denn der Herr Schöller? -Zu Tisch mit Herrn Fischer.

Where is Mr. Schöller? -Eating with Mr. Fischer.

Captions 26-27, Marga Engel schlägt zurück: Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall

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In the above example, the speaker dropped the verb, but the full sentence would read Herr Schöller ist zu Tisch mit Herrn Fischer.  The phrase zu Tisch sein could also be translated more literally as "at the table," but in German it is, perhaps even more so than in English, suggesting that they are eating a meal.



Dann ist das gleich vom Tisch.

Then it'll be resolved soon.

Caption 20, Lerchenberg: Sascha hautnah

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The phrase vom Tisch sein means "to resolve" something, whereas the English expression "off the table" means that something, such as an offer, is no longer valid or being considered. Beware of false friends!


Zwei Jahre hat der Bau gedauert und 1,4 Milliarden Euro hat Betreiber EnBW dafür auf den Tisch gelegt.

The construction lasted two years, and 1.4 billion euros is what the operator EnBW invested.

Captions 14-15, Windenergie Ostsee-Windpark: Baltic 2 speist Strom ins Netz ein

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If you were talking about business and said that an investor "laid 1.4 billion euros on the table," it would probably be understood, but for clarity it's best to translate auf den Tisch legen as "to invest."


Also würdest du mich jetzt hier ruhig unter den Tisch saufen können?

So, could you easily drink me under the table here now?

Caption 13, Schauspielerin: Jessica Schwarz

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This one is a double whammy since saufen (literally "to soak") is also slang. The slightly more polite version is unter den Tisch trinken, but that is easy, as the expression is identical in English!


Dann: „Jemanden über den Tisch ziehen“.

Then, "To take advantage of someone."

Caption 4, Nicos Weg: Bei uns oder bei euch?

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"To pull someone over the table" doesn't make much sense in English, though it doesn't sound like a very nice thing to do! As you see, jemanden über den Tisch ziehen means "to take advantage of someone."


Further Learning
Make up some new sentences using the expressions we just learned about and have your teacher or a fellow student check your work:


zu Tisch sein

vom Tisch sein

auf den Tisch legen

unter den Tisch trinken

über den Tisch ziehen


Afterwards go to Yabla German and watch the full videos above to see the context in which these expressions have been used.

The Verb ausschließen and the Adjective ausgeschlossen

If you examine the root word and prefix of the separable verb ausschließen and the adjective ausgeschlossen, you find the verb schließen ("to shut") and the prefix aus ("out"). These words may, in some contexts, be translated respectively as "to shut out" to "shut out," but they are more commonly used in a figurative sense. 


Dafür kommen die Zoobesucher aber ganz schön nah an die Geparden ran, direkter Blickkontakt nicht ausgeschlossen.

In return, the zoo visitors come pretty close to the cheetahs, direct eye contact not being ruled out.

Captions 37-38, Für Tierfreunde - Geparden

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BHF ist angezählt, ein Verkauf nicht ausgeschlossen.

BHF is down for the count, a sale has not been ruled out.

Caption 49, Journal Wirtschaft - Business News

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Väter sind nicht grundsätzlich vom Training ausgeschlossen.

Fathers aren't necessarily excluded from the training [sessions].

Caption 39, Neuer Fitness-Trend - Kinderwagen-Workout

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Weitere Windparks in der Ostsee sind nicht ausgeschlossen.

Additional wind parks in the Baltic Sea haven't been ruled out.

Caption 18, Windenergie - Ostsee-Windpark Baltic 2 speist Strom ins Netz

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Thus, the adjective ausgeschlossen is generally translated, depending on the context, as "excluded" or "ruled out." As a simple interjection, however, an exclamatory Ausgeschlossen! means "impossible." 


The verb ausschließen has a similar meaning: 


Wir schließen aber nicht aus, dass wir irgendwann mal wieder eine Show machen.

But we won't rule out that we'll do a show again some day.

Caption 28, rheinmain Szene - Michael "Bully" Herbig

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Some other possible translations of ausschließen, depending on the context, can be "to exclude," "to preclude," "to expel," "to eliminate," and "to disqualify."


Note that the verb ausschließen always has the last syllable written with an ß rather than ss. Just to make it slightly complicated, however, the simple past tense (Indikativ) and subjective mood (Konjunktiv II) of ausschließen are written with ss instead of ß: ich schloss aus ("I ruled out") and ich schlösse aus ("Were I to rule out"). You can easily remember this in that long vowel sounds like ie always take the ß afterwards, and short vowels like o the letters ss.

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