Er machte die Rechnung ohne den Wirt.

What does this English sentence even mean? It says: “He had reckoned without his host.” but I’m not even clear what this means. The German sentence seems to mean that the person calculated the bill, such as in a restaurant or event, without consulting the person in charge. But if that’s what it means, I don’t think this is a great way to translate it.

That’s an idiomatic expression (“Die Rechnung ohne den Wirt machen”), it is used if you decide, or do something without asking/talking to the person who should make the decision. I have no idea if there is a expression with a similar meaning in english.

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