„die Sache" vs. „das Ding"

Many students ask if “die Sache” and “das Ding” are just synonyms. I found the explanation in Duden that those two words are almost used as synonyms.

But is there a better explanation? Thanks for your help!



I had this question coming up in one of my previous sessions, too and looked it up.
Indeed in most of the cases “das Ding” and “die Sache” can be used as synonyms and are both translated to “a thing / an object”.

But other than “das Ding”, “die Sache” has some further meanings; in some cases it can also be translated into “the concern”, “the case” or “the matter” :
"Was die Sache (…) anbelangt " - "Concerning the matter (…) "
“Ist die Sache geklärt?” - “Is the matter sorted?”

This is not really a better explanation, but I hope it helps as I think these are interesting examples to show that the two words cannot always be used as synonyms.

Cheers, Linn


„Ding" also sounds sligthly more informal than „Sache":ok_hand:t4:

  • Ich sehe ein Ding.
  • Ich sehe eine Sache.
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Sponteanously, it came to my mind that …
“Ding” … I’d say, we use it often, when the name of the object doesn’t come to our mind.
“Sache” … is rather used if we talk about something we know how to name, but we don’t want to name it in that moment.

Would you agree?