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Phrase of the week: unter Zugzwang stehen

unter Zugzwang stehen

phrasal verb: to be forced to do something (in a tricky situation)

This idiomatic phrase is used to mean ‘to be under pressure to take action’. ‘Zugzwang’ literally translates as a ‘compulsion to move’ in the context of board games.

  • Unter Zugzwang stehen wir in keiner Weise – wir sind auf gutem Kurs = We are not under pressure to take action – we are well on course.

  • Aufgrund der zunehmenden Probleme stand das Unternehmen unter Zugzwang, geeignete Maßnahmen zu ergreifen = Increasing problems placed the company under intense pressure to take appropriate measures.

A game of chess. Photo: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay


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