A is to B, what C is to D


Today I've found this idea being rendered as "A ist für B, was C für D ist" (I can't remember the specific example). I would look for it on a dictionary but it's incredibly hard to look for such kind of constructions. Am I right to assume this is the most common way to say "A is to B, what C is to D" in German?

Danke schön
  • Hutschi

    Senior Member
    "A ist für B, was C für D ist"
    The sentence is correct, and the most general compromise. But if context is available, I'd prefer more special descriptions.

    If A, B, C und D are constants or variables, I'd prefer:

    A verhält sich zu B, wie C zu D.

    Do you have any context?

    It depends much on context.

    Die Dresdner Frauenkirche ist für Dresden, was der Kölner Dom für Köln ist.

    I think this is not wrong, but there are more idiomatic versions.

    Hier würde ich sagen:

    Die Frauenkirche hat für Dresden ähnliche Bedeutung wie der Kölner Dom für Köln.

    There is no general idiom, but it depends on context.

    edit: Overlapped with Kajjo.


    Senior Member
    Cancel-Culture-Aktivisten sind für die Kultur, was Helikopter-Eltern für Kinder und Impfgegner für die Medizin sind.
    Apart from the style, I assume that "verhält sich" does not fit into this example not even semantically, right?

    I rate this as a bit layman-style.

    I mathematics and other more elevated fields you would say:

    A verhält sich zu B, wie C zu D.


    Senior Member
    English (BrE)
    The correct English phrasing for this is: "A is to X as B is to Y", which is often used in math as well as IQ tests where you are asked to draw an analogy between two sets of related terms such as: "Queen is to twelve as King is to ____?".
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