Böse vs. Schlecht



I have noticed that there is some overlap in how these two words “Böse" and "Schlecht” can be used e.g. when checking with https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/boese.

Forexample, I can see that “Böse” can be used to describe that something is “bad” e.g. “böses Wetter;, einen bösen Finger, ein böses Auge haben”, but “schlecht” can also be used in these situations.

Is is fair to say that “schlecht” is more common to used when describing that something is bad? e.g. my finger hurts than “Böse”?



Hallo RexV!


Yes, you can say that “schlecht” is more commonly used when describing that something is bad whereas “böse” is often used when describing something evil or unethical. 


In regards to your examples above, “schlechtes Wetter” - “bad weather” would be more common to say. 

The other two examples “einen bösen Finger” and “ein böses Auge haben” would only be used when these parts of the body are very sore or inflamed. Saying “ein schlechtes Auge haben” - “to have a bad eye” on the other hand, would mean that your vision isn't very good in one eye.


I hope this helps.


Viele Grüße, 




Super, thanks.

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket German trial here.