Ehemann vs. Mann

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by del Verbo, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. del Verbo New Member

    English - USA
    What is the difference between der Ehemann and der Mann? I understand that both mean "husband" in English. Is one used more than the other? Do they have different senses? Is one more formal than the other?
  2. Silber

    Silber Member

    "Ehemann" is the direct translation for "husband". "Mann" alone can mean husband depending on context. A woman refering to someone as "mein Mann" would usually mean 'my husband' unless this woman indicates by context that it is meant in a business sense refering to a representative like "Mein Mann in New York" meaning "My man (representative) in New York".
    So when in doubt use "Ehemann" if you feel that simply using "Mann" could have an ambiguous meaning.
  3. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I agree. But a native German seldom uses it this way. Usually "mein Mann" is used, except you want to emphasize that you are married - or you want to use it in a slightly ironically way.

    In case of my wife I never said: "meine Ehefrau" but "meine Frau".
  4. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Yes, both "Ehemann" and "Ehefrau" is rarely used - in Austria "Gatte" or "Gattin" (which also is rather rare) probably is more common than the former, in case you feel the need to disambiguate simple "Mann" (or "Frau").

    I think that "Ehemann" is used in official wedding documents - but as I'm a bachelor (and never saw a wedding certificate myself) I'm not sure; anyway, for some reason I think that "Ehemann" is more formal and written style.
  5. del Verbo New Member

    English - USA
    Thank you, everyone! Those replies are very helpful.

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