let someone down


How do you say the first sentence in German?

A. I'm sorry to let you down the other night, I couldn't come to the movie!
< bitte bei Antworten nur auf A. Bezug nehmen; ich lasse B. nur als Kontext bestehen. B. wird in einem neuen Thread behandelt >
B. It's okay, it's not like you stuck me up, you just couldn't come.

To let someone down is like to disappoint someone.

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  • nurdug51

    Senior Member
    A: Es tut mir leid, dass ich dich gestern abend enttäuscht habe. ( a very colloquial
    expression - used among young people would be: dass ich dich gestern abend
    hängen gelassen habe)
    Ich konnte nicht ins Kino kommen.
    < Antwort auf zweite Frage entfernt >
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    Meyer Wolfsheim

    Senior Member
    To answer the question properly - would you say "let you down", in this example, is synonymous to "stand you up"?
    No, "to stand someone up" does not mean the same thing; it has a much more negative connotation and implies that if someone stood you up, it means they outright refused something you asked them. "To let someone down" usually implies that a person did not mean to not meet the expectations of someone however it can take on a very similar meaning to "stand you up".

    Tifoso Bonisolli

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I see. So we'll have to look further for an appropriate term in German... cause while "enttäuschen" certainly conveys that sense that you are describing for "to let sb. down", it's not appropriate in this context IMO. It's too emotional for a question like coming to the cinema or not... "enttäuschen" is something children do to their parents by not meeting their expectations (in school, for example). "Hängenlassen" is perfect; but as nurdug said, it's really colloquial. I would tend to say "versetzen", but this would also be a good translation for B (sorry Sowka, if sentence B is depending on sentence A, it's not quite possible to translate them independently, as if the other sentence wouldn't be there - or we might very well end up offering "versetzen" as the requested translation on both threads!).
    So perhaps it would be the best solution to say "Entschuldige, dass ich dich gestern versetzen musste" (thus implying from the very beginning that I regret it and didn't do it on purpose) and then, for B, "Du hast es ja nicht absichtlich getan" (you didn't do it on purpose).
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