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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Anja here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common German questions.
The question for this lesson is: What’s the difference between blau machen “to make blue” and blau sein “to be blue?”
These are two common expressions in German and do not have any connection with the literal meaning of “blue” at all.
Let’s take a look at some examples so you can learn how to use these expressions correctly.
For example, if you are just not feeling well today and need to take a rest you can say, Ich mache heute blau, meaning, “I’ll skip it.” “It” refers to work, school, or another activity or event.
Another way to use this expression is Ich bin blau, “I’m drunk.” You can use this at a party when you’ve possibly had one too many, and it may signal to your friends that it’s time to go home.
So, why do these expressions use the word “blue?” The original reason is that blue is commonly associated with negative feelings. This means that, as an idiom, the word blue often reflects unhappy emotions.
Keep in mind that both expressions are colloquial and should not be used in formal situations.
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
Tschüss, bis zum nächsten Mal! “Bye, see you next time!”