How to Say Crash in German

by Expath Language School

Collide, bump, smash, push. Get ready to get bumpy with this lesson.

Crash and Collide

The various German words for “to collide” (or “to crash”) revolve around prallen (“to bump”) or stoßen (“to push”, “to prod”, “to jab”).

Although kollidieren can also be used, it is a bit too technical for everyday speech. Rather, Germans would say aufeinanderprallen, zusammenprallen, gegeneinanderprallen or zusammenstoßen to express multiple objects striking each other (usually accompanied by a loud noise).

Note that prallen can also mean “to blaze”, in the sense of “to shine intensely”. Its adjective is prall which can also mean “plump” or “bulging”.


Ihre Meinungen prallen immer aufeinander. Their opinions always collide (in the sense of being at odds) with each other.

Das Auto ist mit einer Straßenbahn zusammengeprallt. The car collided with the tram.

Wir sind im Supermarkt gegeneinandergeprallt. We crashed into each other in the supermarket.

Die Schafe stoßen mit den Köpfen zusammen. The sheep are butting their heads.

Die Sonne prallt auf die Straße. The sun is blazing onto the street.

Die prallen Trauben prallen in der prallen Sonne gegen die Wand. The plump grapes are crashing into the wall in the blazing sunshine.

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