Advent Calendar 10 – “To not Confuse to Confuse”

To not confuse to confuse


Hallo ihr lieben,

welcome back to day 10 of our Advent Calendar.
Christmas is the time when we meet up with our family, and I think we’ve all been there:
we walk into the room and we’re like “Oh, grandpa, so good to see you.”
but the person is like “I’m your niece.” And you’re just like
“Oh my God, why do I always confuse you two?”. And the whole family is just like “Because, GLÜHWEIN.”
Now you might feel a little confused. And that’s perfect. It’ll get worse. Because today, we’ll do an exercise on the word to confuse.
To confuse has two translations in German, verwirren and verwechseln, and they’re a very very common mistake for German learners because unfortunately they are not synonymous at all.

We’ve talked about it in detail in an articles, so if you want, you can check that out here:

What is the Difference: verwirren vs. verwechseln

But if you don’t have time, here it is in a nutshell :)

verwirren is about a cloudy mind,
verwechseln is about taking A for B. 

That’s what you get to practice today. Here are 10 sentences for you to translate to confuse in them in some form.
Or if translating is too difficult (the last few are a bit longer), just try to find which idea of confuse the sentence is about… a cloudy mind, or taking A for B.
Oh… I actually “went the extra mile” to use my exercise setup. Just click the button to see the solution, or listen to it in the audio.
Oh, and if you’re using Firefox the audio might not play. You can find the direct mp3-links here.






The statement confused Maria and Thomas.
Das Statement hat Maria und Thomas verwirrt.



Example number six is a bit confusing when you think about it.
Beispiel Nummer 6 ist ein bisschen verwirrend, wenn man drüber nachdenkt.


The confusion among the students was palpable.
Die Verwirrung unter den Studenten war greifbar.


Working out and watching Netflix… somehow I always mix up those things.
Sport machen und Netflix gucken… irgendwie verwechsele ich diese Dinge immer.


Maybe you’ll still confuse the words every now and then, but I hope they’re a little less confusing.
Vielleicht verwechseltihr die Wörter noch ab und zu, aber ich hoffe, sie sind ein bisschen weniger verwirrend.

And, how was it? How many did you get right?
Let me know in the comments how you did and if you have questions.
Schönen Tag euch und bis morgen :)

for members :)

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Beispiel Nummer 6 ist gar nicht verwirrend aber Beispiel Nummer 4 ist verwirrend, weil man nicht weiß, ob Thomas etwas gemacht hat, dass uns verwirrt oder, ob Thomas hat uns mit einander verwechselt.

Ich dachte, dass Thomas uns verwirrt hat, damit er unsere Biere trinken könnte.

Ansonsten fing ich alle Recht. Otherwise I got everything right – I’m guessing my Deutsch version is falsch. Ok, I missed “greifbar” in 8, but got the right form of confused.


Actually, if I hear, “I always confuse you two” I think: I always do something to cause a cloudy mind. If I hear, “I always confuse the two of you.” I think: I think Thomas is Maria and I think Maria is Thomas. Do other AE-speakers “feel” this as well or is it only me?


Ich stimme zu. “I always confuse you two” and “I always confuse the two of you” could technically both mean both things, but they sound different.

Zum Beispiel vier, falls die Englische wäre, “Thomas got us mixed up” können wir uns nicht verwechslen, welche Bedeutung Sie meinten, und wir wären deswegen nicht verwirrt. Aber dann wurde die Übung vielleicht zu leicht werden.

(I realize I need to review conditional sentence grammar… I don’t know if that made any sense…)


FilleryField – SPOT ON! Exactly – you made it much clearer than I did.

“I always confuse you” could mean either
“I always mix you up” means that I mistake the one of you for the other.

Should have written that from the beginning – but I didn’t think of it.


I keep the verbs straight by thinking; verwirren is when you are puzzled, verwechseln is when you mistake someone for another.

and as a Brit to me “I always confuse you two” could mean either cause a cloudy mind or misidentify, depending on context.


Hi, I also found example 4 verwirrend! As you’ve already mentioned, it can have both meanings in English. (but the most obvious meaning to me would be that Thomas did something weird that got us confused as in verwirrend!).
Typo alert: space missing in example 2 (again a very minor thing).
I also have a question not related to this post but to the one about Stuckli that I only had time to read last evening: when you say that you and your girlfriend went hiking last summer “wir waren letzten Sommer wandern”, can you explain to me why the ” time box” is accusative? (or direct me to a previous article on the subject). That would be really appreciated!
His morgen!


Bis morgen, I mean! (Verdammt automatic spell checker!)


.. im letzten Sommer… : it is dative.

Peter Lobl
Peter Lobl

confus-schoß sagt:

it is better to be
kissed by a fool
fooled by a kiss.

ummm, einige Fragen habe ich auch:

Nr 3:
Thomas is confused by us.
Thomas ist von uns verwirrt.

Wenn ich den Satz mit “wird” verwenden würde, “Thomas wird von uns verwirrt.” – heißt es dann “Thomas is being confused by us.” genau in diesem Moment ?
Eine Art Erzählung, ein Teil von einem größeren Kontext vielleicht?

Schwierig ist es manchmal, die richtige Zeit aggressiv mit dem Passiv zu sein.

Danke für die hervorragende Beispiele!


I remember the original article about this, and I always feel a little surprised that this would be an especially difficult thing for learners. I’ve never had a particularly hard time keeping the two verbs straight, probably because I wouldn’t be likely to use “confuse” in the “verwechseln” sense very often, at least in everyday spoken English. (“Mix up” would be more typical for me.)


Echt schone Übungen! Danke :) Ich schuf alle!! Die letze mochte ich am meistens, denn dort ist es ganz klar der Unterschied. Ich genieße insbesondere diese Art von Übungen, keep up the great work! :D


Danke, Emanuel, für die hilfreiche Übung. In Beispiel 9 habe ich die Frage nach der Rechtschreibung: ich verwechsele oder verwechsle.
P.S. Hast du schon deine Erkältung überwunden? Ich hoffe, dir wieder geht’s gut.


I love the posts with exercises. In #7, would “wenn man daran denkt” be at all idiomatic instead of “wenn man darüber nachdenkt”?