schwer / hart zu sagen


Can schwer and hart be synonymous, seeing that both can translate as hard, tough etc.? At times, I find myself confused between them. Could you point out some differences with examples?

For example in the comparison:

Es ist schwer zu sagen.
Es ist hart zu sagen.

,which one is correct, or which is more appropriate?

  • Kajjo

    Senior Member
    schwer = schwierig (difficult, i.e. requiring competence)
    hart = tough, hard

    Es ist schwer zu sagen.
    This is idiomatic.

    Es ist hart zu sagen.
    Different meaning (see below), but wrong and not synonymous for "schwer".


    Es ist hart, ihr sagen zu müssen, dass sie versagt hat.
    It's tough to have to tell her that she has failed.

    "Hart" relates to emotional issues in this sense.

    The basic meaning of "hart" is hard as the opposite of soft as property of solid objects.