In Germany, a shop made commercials with the slogan "Come in and found out."

There were many jokes about the meaning of the slogan in Germany. Often it was interpreted as Komm rein und finde wieder raus ("Come in, and find the way out again").

Find out is translated to German as herausfinden. The German herausfinden has two meanings: to get out, to detect, but also to find a way.

Has to find out also a geographical meaning as in "we were in a labyrinth, but find out our way." or is it a German false friend?


Find out

vb (adverb)
1. to gain knowledge of (something); learn he found out what he wanted
2. to detect the crime, deception, etc., of (someone)

As you can see, it usually means to find some information/knowledge.

Therefore, it is indeed a "false friend" and never has the additional sense that it can in German.

Sources - The Free Dictionary, @Hellion

  • 3
    In your second usage, though, you must insert the extra words "our way" (or "the way"). In other words, you can find your way out of a corn maze, but you can't find out a corn maze – not unless you use the term in the first sense, e.g., "We found out a corn maze is opening next week.") – J.R. Jan 26 '13 at 11:37
  • In your second usage, you are not using the verb phrase "find out", you are using the verb "find" with a noun phrase of "our way out" as its object. You could just as easily say "we found our way in" or "we found a map". – Hellion Jan 26 '13 at 21:45
  • @Hellion Well, what do you suggest to improve this answer? – Siddhartha Jan 27 '13 at 4:10
  • I'd say that the extra stuff (starting with "however") should be removed; the definition is enough. Perhaps you could add a line confirming that it is indeed a "false friend" and never has the additional sense that it can in German. – Hellion Jan 27 '13 at 4:23
  • To mean the extra German meaning is "finding a way out" or "finding exit". – SF. Jan 27 '13 at 4:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.