How to excuse yourself in German

There are several ways of excusing oneself in the German language, depending on the situation:

– For a legitimate excuse for not being somewhere or not doing something (such as missing school because of a doctor’s appointment) or in the sense of “apology”, or as the term for a “doctor’s note” the word is “Entschuldigung” (f.): “Es gibt keine Entschuldigung für Faulheit.” – “There’s no excuse for laziness.” The word can also be used, of course, to say “sorry” or “excuse me”.

– For a fake excuse (like the proverbial dog eating one’s homework), the word is “Ausrede” (f.): “Das ist nur eine faule Ausrede!” – “That’s just a lame excuse!”

– In the sense of “pretext” or “pretence” (as in, finding an excuse to get out of something unpleasant) the word is “Vorwand” (m.): “Es geschah unter dem Vorwand der Selbstverteidigung.” – “It happened under the pretext of self-defense.”

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