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Advantage or Disadvantage?

In English, we talk about events or circumstances having "advantages" or "disadvantages," or the "pros and cons" of a situation. Let's take a look at the vocabulary used to express these qualities in German.

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Der Vorteil can be translated as "the advantage" or "the benefit":

 

Vorteil: Schließt man den Schirm, ist die nasse Seite innen.

Advantage: If you close the umbrella, the wet side is on the inside.

Caption 9, Erfindung aus Japan - Der verkehrte Regenschirm

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Der Nachteil can be translated as "the disadvantage" or "the drawback": 

 

Die Musik ist manchmal 'n bisschen zu laut. Das ist der Nachteil.

The music is sometimes a little too loud. That's the drawback.

Captions 52-53, Rockfabrik-Open-Air - Love-Street-Interview - Part 2

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Here we can see the plural forms of both of these words:

 

Das hat viele Vorteile, aber auch Nachteile, gesteht der Sänger im Interview.

That has many advantages, but also disadvantages, the singer admits in the interview.

Caption 9, Andreas Bourani - Startet durch

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To say that something is "advantageous" or "beneficial," we can use the German adjective vorteilhaft. The opposite of that would be nachteilig or unvorteilhaft. We can also create an adjective by including the word von before the noun:

 

Und es wär' dann schon von Vorteil zu sagen: OK, ich kann die Vorlesung halt eben auch daheim anschauen.

And it would then be advantageous to say: OK, I can also just watch the lecture at home.

Captions 25-26, KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie - Umfrage: Was bedeutet barrierefrei?

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Further Learning
After you've looked at these examples on Yabla German, try to figure out the meaning of these additional phrases and sentences:

 

beiderseitiger Vorteil 
finanzieller Vorteil 

erheblicher Nachteil
Es gibt sowohl Vor- als auch Nachteile.
Die Vorteile überwiegen die Nachteile.

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