Halt!

Other Ways To Say "Stop" in German

A prohibited beach in Germany

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Have any of you come across people who once they know you speak German, try their best to mimic every word they’ve heard in old war-related American films? Besides the spit, they conjure up and the obvious distasteful war words they ejaculate, they never ever fail to say “Halt!” with much imagined German military gusto and pomp. It somehow sounds much better to them in German than in English. Beyond this stereotyping, there are other ways to say “stop” in German. See explanations below.

Stehen Bleiben

This phrase is used when a person stops walking/running.

  • Erstaunt, blieb der kleine Junge vor der Schule stehen.
  • Translation: The small boy stood astounded in front of the school.

It is also used when a mechanism stops working.

  • Ich bin empört! Meine neue Uhr ist stehen geblieben.
  • Translation: I’m very upset! My new watch doesn’t work anymore.

Anhalten

This word is used for a voluntary stop by a vehicle.

  • Bitte halten Sie am nächsten Haus an.
  • Translation: Please stop at the next house.
  • Ich muss an der nächsten Tankstelle anhalten.
  • Translation: I have to stop at the next gas station.

Take note: The verb halten (to hold) also means to stop, however it is not used much, except for its imperative form Halt. The verb anhalten is much more frequently used.

Aufhören

This word is used when an activity is stopped, you want a noise to stop, or a certain weather stops.

  • Er hört nicht auf zu essen.
  • Translation: He is always eating.
  • Hör auf mit dem Radau!
  • Translation: Stop that racket!
  • Wann wird der Regen endlich aufhören?
  • Translation: When will the rain finally stop?

Innehalten

Used to describe when somebody stops talking or conversing due to an interruption.

  • Sie hielt mitten im Satz inne.
  • Translation: She stopped in mid-sentence.
  • Verwirrt, hielt er in seiner Rede inne.
  • Translation: Confused, he stopped talking.

Expressions With German “Stop” Words

There are plenty of German expressions and idioms that do not literally translate to English. However, a number of clear phrases expressing a version of stop utilizing the German words identified above.

  • Hör auf damit! (Stop that!)
  • Halt mal! (Wait a second!)
  • Zum Halten bringen (to bring to a standstill)
  • Halt’s Maul! (Shut your trap!)

Related Halten Words

  • Die Bushaltestelle (bus stop)
  • Der Haltepunkt (a train stop)