How to Say It Depends in German

by Expath Language School

A great tip for when you want to be evasive or noncommittal in your response.

It Depends

(Es) kommt darauf an is a phrase Germans use to say “it depends”.

In informal situations you can leave out the es.

For example:
Wann kommst du nach Berlin?
– Kommt darauf an.

It Depends on What?

For intermediate German speakers, you can add what it actually depends on like this:

(Es) kommt auf __________ an. The blank could be filled with das Wetter or meine Laune or even meine Tante… whatever it depends on.

Using the Dative Case

For more advanced speakers, if you’re comfortable with the dative case, you can also say Es hängt davon ab, or, Es hängt von _______ ab.

The blank is filled with what it depends on, in dative case, whereas with the Es kommt auf _______ an is filled with something in accusative.

Another very simple way of saying “It depends” in German it is the short expression Je nachdem.

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