A separable verb is composed of a separable particle and a radical (word stem). The separable particle is unchangeable and is placed at the end of a main sentence. The second part is conjugated as usual. Additionally, the separable particle is accentuated. Particles are flexible in their use, that means, the same particle is used for a lot of verbs. To differentiate between separable and inseparable verbs, it is important to know that an inseparable verb is composed of a ("true") prefix and a word stem. The prefix is not accentuated.
In general, a prefix/particle changes the basic meaning of the verb:
|German verb||verb in English||German verb with prefix/particle||verb in English|
|suchen||to search||besuchen||to visit|
|stellen||to put||anstellen||to line up|
|kommen||to come||hinkommen||to get to|
Verbs are separated with "|" to point out the formation of the separable verb. The last four columns show you a possible sentence with one exemplary verbs and the correctly applied sentence structure. Remember that this is only a guidance!
|explanation||particle + verb||position 1||radical||position 2||particle|
|at, on||an | fassen, an | machen, an | springen||Die Katze||springt||den Hund||an.|
|off, down||ab | fahren, ab | fallen , ab | schreiben||Der Zug||fährt||am Gleis||ab.|
|up||auf | bauen, auf | stehen, auf | räumen||Das Mädchen||räumt||das Zimmer||auf.|
|out||aus | räumen||Der Vater||räumt||die Kisten||aus.|
|in, into||ein | räumen, ein | stellen, ein | kaufen||Die Mutter||kauft||das Brot||ein.|
|home||heim | fahren, heim | kommen||Der Sohn||kommt||heim|
|here||her | kommen||Er||kommt||hier||her.|
|out||heraus | fahren, heraus | bringen||Die Tochter||bringt||den Müll||heraus.|
|in||herein | bringen, herein | holen||Der Kellner||holt||die Stühle||herein.|
|up||herauf | stellen||Die Mutter||stellt||die Lampe||herauf.|
|to there||hin | stellen||Die Mutter||stellt||die Vase||hin.|
|up||hinauf | laufen, hinauf | stellen||Das Kind||läuft||die Treppe||hinauf.|
|away, to let go||los | laufen, los | lassen||Er||läuft||in Richtung Straße||los.|
|with||mit | nehmen, mit | denken||Sie||nimmt||das Handtuch||mit.|
|catch up||nach | kommen, nach | holen||Der Schüler||holt||den Stoff||nach.|
|undertake||vor | nehmen||Sie||nehmen||sich Etwas||vor.|
|away||weg | kommen, weg | nehmen, weg | essen||Er||isst||die Schokolade||weg.|
|to||zu | nehmen , zu | hören||Sie.||hört||ihm||zu.|
|back||zurück | nehmen||Sie||nimmt||die Beschimpfung||zurück.|
Some verbs in the German language remain inseparable. They have a prefix in front of their stem. The verb is placed second.
|explanation||prefix + verb||example|
|be||beantworten, bestehen, beschweren||Ich beantworte dir gerne die Frage.|
|ent||entkommen, entfliehen, entschwinden||Ich entkomme dem Verfolger.|
|er||erstehen, erstellen, erfinden||Ich erfinde eine Geschichte.|
Some verbs can be both: separable or inseparable. In these cases, the verb has different meanings. Prefixes like: durch-, unter-, hinter-, über-, um-. For example: Übersetzen
In this lesson you studied the separable and inseparable verbs in the German language. There are verbs, that are inseparable, separable or can be both at the same time. Test your skills with our exercises!
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