Understanding the German Idiom: "außer Betracht lassen" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: German

In the realm of linguistics, idioms serve as fascinating windows into a language’s cultural nuances and peculiarities. One such idiom that captures the essence of German expression is außer Betracht lassen. This captivating phrase holds a wealth of meaning and practical application, allowing speakers to convey complex ideas with brevity and precision.

Unpacking the essence

The idiom außer Betracht lassen can be best understood by dissecting its individual components. The word “außer” denotes exclusion or being outside of something, while “Betracht” translates to consideration or contemplation. When combined, these words form a powerful expression that signifies intentionally disregarding or omitting something from one’s thoughts or actions.

Delving deeper into usage

The versatility of this idiom lies in its ability to be applied across various contexts. Whether used in personal relationships, professional settings, or even artistic endeavors, außer Betracht lassen allows individuals to communicate their deliberate choice to overlook certain aspects without explicitly stating them.

An example for clarity

To illustrate its practicality further, imagine a scenario where an artist receives criticism about their latest masterpiece. Instead of engaging in lengthy explanations or defending every brushstroke, they might simply respond with a confident smile and say: I will let those comments ‘außer Betracht lassen’. In doing so, they gracefully acknowledge the feedback without letting it affect their creative vision.

A gateway into German culture

Beyond its linguistic significance, understanding this idiom provides a glimpse into the German mindset and values. The ability to intentionally exclude certain elements from consideration reflects a pragmatic approach to decision-making and problem-solving, emphasizing efficiency and focus.

Origins of the German Idiom “außer Betracht lassen”: A Historical Perspective

The historical background and development of the German idiom außer Betracht lassen provide valuable insights into its meaning and usage. Exploring the origins of this expression sheds light on its cultural significance and helps us understand how it has evolved over time.

Throughout history, various factors have shaped the evolution of idioms in different languages. In the case of außer Betracht lassen, socio-cultural changes, literary movements, and external influences have all played a role in shaping its current form.

An exploration of medieval literature provides valuable clues about how this idiom was used during that period. By analyzing relevant texts from renowned authors or influential works, we can uncover instances where außer Betracht lassen was employed to convey specific meanings or emotions.

Furthermore, an examination of historical events that occurred during different epochs offers additional insight into how this idiom may have been influenced by societal shifts or political developments. Understanding these contextual factors allows us to grasp why certain connotations are associated with außer Betracht lassen.

The study also considers linguistic variations across different regions within Germany itself. Dialects and regional peculiarities contribute to slight differences in usage and interpretation, highlighting the rich diversity present within this single idiom.

Usage and Contexts of the German Idiom “außer Betracht lassen”: Exploring Variations

The usage of außer Betracht lassen varies depending on the context it is used in. It can be employed to indicate disregarding or ignoring something or someone, excluding them from consideration or thought. This versatile idiom allows for flexibility in expressing disregard or omission.

Variation Meaning
To overlook Disregard or ignore something intentionally
To exclude from consideration Omitting something from further analysis or discussion
To leave out of account Not taking something into consideration when making a decision or forming an opinion

This idiom can be used in both formal and informal settings, allowing speakers to convey their intention clearly regardless of the context. Its versatility makes it a valuable tool for effective communication.

Furthermore, außer Betracht lassen has found its way into everyday conversations as well as professional discussions. Whether it’s omitting irrelevant details during a presentation or deliberately ignoring distractions while focusing on a task at hand, this idiom proves useful across various domains.

Cultural Significance of the German Idiom “außer Betracht lassen”

The Cultural Significance of the German Idiom außer Betracht lassen explores the deep-rooted cultural implications and societal values associated with this commonly used expression in Germany. This idiom holds a significant place in German language and culture, reflecting a unique perspective on decision-making and interpersonal relationships.

At its core, außer Betracht lassen embodies the idea of disregarding or excluding something from consideration. It goes beyond its literal translation to convey a broader meaning that encompasses cultural norms and values. The usage of this idiom reflects the importance placed on careful deliberation, rationality, and pragmatism within German society.

In German culture, precision and thoroughness are highly valued traits. The idiom außer Betracht lassen encapsulates this value by emphasizing the need to carefully evaluate all relevant factors before making decisions or passing judgments. It encourages individuals to take into account every aspect that may influence an outcome, highlighting meticulousness as an essential characteristic for success.

Furthermore, this idiomatic expression also reflects certain social dynamics prevalent in Germany. By suggesting that certain elements should be left out of consideration, it implies a focus on objectivity rather than personal biases or subjective opinions. In interpersonal relationships, it promotes fairness and impartiality while discouraging favoritism or prejudice.

The cultural significance of außer Betracht lassen extends beyond its linguistic usage; it serves as a reflection of collective attitudes towards problem-solving and decision-making processes in various aspects of life such as business, politics, education, and personal relationships.

Mastering the German Idiom “außer Betracht lassen”: Practical Exercises

Exercise 1: Contextual Sentence Construction

Construct sentences using außer Betracht lassen to convey the idea of disregarding or excluding something from consideration. Focus on different scenarios such as personal decisions, professional situations, or everyday conversations. Use synonyms for “understanding”, “German”, and other key words to diversify your sentences.


When making important life choices, it is crucial to disregard external influences and focus solely on one’s own desires.

Exercise 2: Role Play Scenarios

Create role play scenarios where you can practice incorporating außer Betracht lassen naturally into conversations. Engage with a partner and take turns playing different roles while utilizing the idiom appropriately. This exercise will help you develop confidence in using idiomatic expressions in real-life situations.


A: I’m considering taking up a new hobby, but I’m worried about what others might think.

B: You should follow your passion and not let others’ opinions influence your decision. Außer Betracht lassen what they say!

Exercise 3: Written Expression

Write short paragraphs or essays incorporating the idiom außer Betracht lassen within a broader context. Explore topics such as personal growth, cultural differences, or societal norms. Use synonyms for “meaning” and “application” to add variety to your writing.


In today’s fast-paced world, it is essential to reflect on our priorities and außer Betracht lassen the superficial expectations imposed by society. By doing so, we can find true fulfillment and live a life aligned with our values.

By engaging in these practical exercises, you will gain a deeper understanding of the German idiom außer Betracht lassen and develop proficiency in its usage. Remember to practice regularly and incorporate this idiom naturally into your conversations for maximum impact.

Avoiding Mistakes in Using the German Idiom “außer Betracht lassen”: Common Errors and Advice

  • Mistake 1: Misinterpreting the meaning
  • One common mistake is misunderstanding the actual meaning of außer Betracht lassen. It is crucial to comprehend that this idiom translates to “to disregard” or “to exclude from consideration.” Avoid confusing it with similar idioms like “in Betracht ziehen,” which means “to take into consideration.”

  • Mistake 2: Incorrect word order
  • An error frequently encountered is placing words incorrectly within the sentence structure. Remember that in German, verbs usually occupy the second position in a sentence. Ensure that you place außer Betracht lassen after the subject but before other elements such as adverbs or objects.

  • Mistake 3: Neglecting noun declension
  • In German, nouns undergo declension based on their grammatical case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive). When using außer Betracht lassen, pay attention to properly decline any nouns affected by this idiom according to their role in the sentence.

  • Mistake 4: Overusing the idiom
  • While außer Betracht lassen is a useful expression, it is essential not to overuse it. Using this idiom excessively can make your speech or writing repetitive and monotonous. Instead, try to vary your vocabulary by incorporating other similar phrases or expressions.

  • Mistake 5: Ignoring context and register
  • Another mistake learners often make is disregarding the appropriate context and register for using außer Betracht lassen. This idiom is more commonly used in formal or professional settings rather than casual conversations. Consider the situation and adjust your language accordingly.

By being aware of these common errors and following the advice provided, you can enhance your understanding of how to use the German idiom außer Betracht lassen accurately. Remember to practice incorporating this expression into your conversations gradually, ensuring proper word order, noun declension, and contextual appropriateness.

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