Category Archives: meaning of

Prefix Verb Shorts – “die Ausnahme”

ausnahme-german-exceptionHello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of our summer series about German prefix verbs. This time we’ll have a look at a verb that is one of the main reasons why language learning can suck. Get ready for a look at the meaning of the verb

die Ausnahme

Wait… this is weird. I … I thought verbs don’t have articles. Is this one an excepti… what? … oh… ohhhh…  a noun… haha… right, I just thought… uh… I… let’s just move on. Die Ausnahme is a of course a noun, and having it as the topic for a prefix verb short is an exception. But there’s a good reason. Ausnahme is an exception indeed. In fact, it is THE exception. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “Rücken”

rucken-ruecken-meaning-germHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time, we’ll take a look at the meaning of


Now you’re all like “Rücken? This topic is  booooooooooooooooooring.” but no, it’s not . A Rücken can be very nice. There’s even an idiom for it

  • Auch ein schöner Rücken kann entzücken.
  • A beautiful rear can also endear.

So… let’s take a look at Rücken and I promise you… there’s more to this word that you think.
Most of you probably know it already – der  Rücken means the backBack is an old Germanic word for the back but for some reason it has disappeared from most Germanic languages. They all use a version of Rücken. Now, Rücken is related to ridge and the two words probably go back to the “It’s crazy how ancient it is“-Indo-European root *(s)ker which was about Continue reading

Prefix Verb Shorts – “angeben”

angebenHello everyone,

and welcome to another episode of Prefix Verb Shorts.
Whether you have to fill out a form or impress your friends… today’s word will help you with that. Ladies and gentlemen… get ready for a quick look at the super useful meanings of


An has two notions that it can add to a verb: “on-ness” (as in going/not off, ) and “at-ness” (or its directed sister toward-ness). In case of geben which means to give we’re only dealing with one of them… the latter. And if not that one then it’s the former. Yap,  I actually have no idea. But it doesn’t really matter in this case. The only thing an does with geben is making it more specific. Geben is for giving all kinds of things… cups, glasses, plates or shits; angeben is for: information. It means as much as Continue reading

Word of the Day – Wundertütenspecial #2

wundertute-2Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. And this time it’s time for another so called Wundertüten-Special. A real Wundertüte is bag full of wonders…. well, actually more a bag full of stupid little stuff like gum and stickers. But kids love it and I think you might like the word-Wundertüte too. What is it exactly? It’s bag full of cool surprise words. You know.. these colloquial terms that you won’t get in the official study material. Their meanings are often quite specific but often they are really the only way to express a certain idea so people use them every day. Maybe every other day.  Okay, at least once a week. Well, definitely more than they use Birne which is part of many a beginners text books… unless… if they’re really big fans of pears they actually mig… okay, I’ll stop that now. The words in the last Wundertüten-special were definitely pretty cool so I’d say let’s open this one and find out. Sounds good? Awesome. Continue reading

Prefix Verb Shorts – “aufmachen”

aufmachenHello everyone,

and welcome to a  couple truths:  German has a plenty of prefix verbs that need explaining and summer is coming. Shabamm.
Time for a series that tackles both.

Prefix Verb Hot Pants

I mean shorts. Prefix verb sho.. whatever.
Every learner knows the problem… German has bazillion of these things and while not all of them are enough material for a whole Word of the Day many of them are really really useful and worth a look. And that’s exactly what a Prefix verb short is going to be. A short, quick look at the word. No fluff, no bullshit, no fun. And because they are so… well… short, we’ll probably do more than one a week. Or maybe just throw some in here and there so you get to learn more. Isn’t that great? So let’s get right to it with a look at the meaning of


This one really is pretty simple but that’s good so we can get an impression of the format. First we’ll always take a look at the parts. Which basic verb do we have, which prefix and what notions does this prefix have in store.
So … let’s do that for aufmachen, and maybe a warning right away:

!!!    Aufmachen does NOT mean to make up   !!!

Make up one’s mind, make up an example, make up for something … if you used aufmachen for these it wouldn’t even be understood. So what does it mean? Well, we have auf and machen. Continue reading