Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Vocabulary gap: not broken

I spoke to Amy on the phone just now and realised another vocabulary gap: I couldn't think of the opposite of broken.

In German, I could have asked, "Ist dein Auto heil oder kaputt?", but in English, I have no word for "Is you car ___ or is it broken?". wasn't much help, either; it hardly seemed to know the word "heil", ditto for "heile" (which might be more vernacular, anyway), and "safe" (which it offered) doesn't fit.

There was the phrase "heil und gesund" as a translation of "safe and sound", though; I suppose "sound" does have the meaning "not broken; intact", but it sounds rather formal; not the sort of thing I'd say every day, especially not to a toddler.

Maybe "intact"? Though that sounds a bit high-brow as well.

Has English simply no good, colloquial word for the concept?

Another attempt: how would you finish this sentence? "A wheel broke off my toy car, but then I asked my father to repair the car and now it's ______ again." ("Von meinem Spielzeugauto ist ein Rad abgebrochen, aber dann habe ich meinen Vater gebeten, das Auto zu reparieren/heile zu machen, und jetzt ist es wieder heile.")

And while "fixed" might fit there, that seems to emphasise that the intact state is the result of repairs. How about this, then? "I used to have eight plates, but then three of them fell down and cracked; now I only have five which are still ______." ("Ich hatte mal acht Teller, aber dann sind drei davon heruntergefallen und haben einen Sprung bekommen; jetzt habe ich nur noch fünf, die noch heil sind.")

"In one piece"? Though that doesn't cover situations such as something being bent or scratched in a way that nothing broke off but it's still "broken" in the sense of no longer being usable.

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