How to talk about ambitions in German

The German words for ambitious, in the sense of having a strong desire to succeed, are “ehrgeizig” (literally “greedy for honor”) and, more rarely, “ambitioniert”. In the sense of something being difficult to achieve (“demanding”), the German word is “anspruchsvoll” (literally “full of demand”). The nouns are “Ehrgeiz” (m.), “Ambition” (f.) and “Anspruch” (m.) (mainly meaning “claim”), respectively:

– “Er hat das Projekt voller Ehrgeiz begonnen.” – “He began the project full of ambition.”
– “Das war übertrieben ehrgeizig von dir.” – “That was overly ambitious of you.”
– “Diese Aufgabe ist sehr anspruchsvoll.” – “This task is very demanding.”
– “Er hat hohe Ambitionen (einmal) Chef zu werden.” – “He has high ambitions to become the boss (at some point).”

Listen up, lurkers!

We filmed an entire beginner German course!

More cool stuff from Expath

The best ways to remember gender in German

How's your German? Take our free online test!

How to get a handle on childcare in Berlin

Join us for small online German classes for English speakers

How to go about finding a flat in Berlin and Germany

All the different ways to say you're exhausted in German

Want to work as a freelancer in Germany but need more info?

Want to live and work in Germany but not sure how to do it?

How to obtain an artist visa for Berlin

How do English speakers find jobs in Germany?

All of Expath's German "words of the day"

How to tell time in German