German Prefix Verbs Explained – “ausgeben”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of German Prefix Verbs Explained. And if usefulness could shine, today’s word would be as bright as the sun. Hmm… I’m not sure if the money I spend for that metaphor-app I bought was worth it.
Hey but speaking of spending money…  today we’ll have a look at the meaning of

ausgeben

 

Aus can add two notions to a verb:  switched-off-ness and outside-ness. Usually it adds both, but not this time. The idea of switched-off doesn’t really make any sense in combination with geben. Turning something out by giving. Like… you’d have to make donations to your lamp to turn it off. That would be the stupidest light switch ever. So, in case of ausgeben we’re only dealing with the outside-aus. And the big question  is:

Does ausgeben mean to give out,  like logic and common sense suggest? Or is there some crazy, stupid twist because … German.

Well… ausgeben actually is about the idea of giving out BUT the tricky thing is that ausgeben only works in a few rather specific contexts. The most important one is shopping! Ausgeben in combination with money is THE German word for to spend.

The next context for ausgeben has a lot to do with spending money, too. Ausgeben is the word for paying for someone else’s drink.

In fact, this use is so common and widespread that you don’t even need to say what drink you’re buying.

Now, to an extent, this ausgeben also works for food… but only casual, small bill food.

In the second example the proper word would be einladen, which can also be used for drinks.

This is what people usually say when the waiter comes with the bill and they want to pay it in full. Ausgeben only feels idiomatic BEFORE you get the drink. Cool. Now, buying a lot of rounds is a good way to pretend to be a rich person. And that brings us right to the third meaning of ausgeben: to pass something or someone off as something.

I think ausgeben has a stronger notion of pretending than to pass off. So you’d only use it if the thing or person is not what you make it seem. All right. Spending money, inviting someone for a drink and passing something or someone off as something – those are the three main uses of ausgeben. You can find it in other, sometimes rather literal contexts here and there. For example, a company issuing stock or a technical device that’s giving out a sound signal. But you’ll definitely get it from context and they are really not that useful.

What is useful is the noun for ausgebendie Ausgabe which basically means “the giving out”.  Really straight forward. The Gepäckausgabe for instance is the place where they “give out” the  luggage (baggage claim/pick up), a Sprachausgabe is the voice output of a computer and a Wochenendausgabe …  well… that’s gonna be a place where they give out weekends. Wait, what? That is AWESOME, I gotta go there right … oh… oh that’s not what it means? Sigh, another dream shattered. But seriously… what is a Wochenendausgabe? It is something they give out on weekends. We could say, something they issue on weekends. We could say, the weekend’s issue :). That’s the main meaning of die Ausgabe: issue.

Ausgabe is issue in sense of newspapers and magazines (also for non-fiction TV and radio programming). And that brings us right to the her-version of the verb

rausgeben and Herausgeben

Herausgeben is the official word for publishing/editing a newspaper or a book.

But herausgeben can also express the more general idea of releasing something that was being withheld prior.

Now, this more general herausgeben can be shortened to rausgeben in more mundane, colloquial contexts. That is NOT the case for the sense of editing, publishing. Like… saying so and so is the “Rausgeber” of the New York Times is not colloquial or slangy… it’s just wrong and I don’t think anyone would ever say it. Which means that someone likely did say it at some point… because as Justin Bowie put it: “Never say Never” when it comes to languages. Anyways… there is a use for rausgeben, however, where you’d never hear herausgeben, simply because it would sound super mega stiff. It’s a very common every day meaning that brings us full circle to the first meaning of ausgeben… the spending money. Rausgeben is THE word for giving out (small) change in return to a bill…. and I do not know if there’s an English word for it.

Sounds like a rather specific word to have but the phrase “auf einen * rausgeben”  (with the asterix being a random bill)  yields half a million results on Google, more than you can find for the word herausgeben. So it’s definitely something people use quite a bit and it’s worth remembering. As is the word ausgeben itself. Because even though it applies the idea of giving out to rather specific contexts, the sense of to spend in context of money makes this word a definite must have. And that’s it for today. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions just leave me a comment. I hope you liked it and see you next time.

** click here to download all audio files as a zip-archive**

** ausgeben – fact sheet **

meanings:
to spend
to buy a drink (jemandem etwas ausgeben)
to pass off as (sich/etwas als jemand/etwas ausgeben)
to issue (specific contexts)

spoken past:
form of haben + ausgegeben

related words:
die Ausgabe – the issue, the counter, the expense (usually plural: Ausgaben)
die Herausgabe – surrender (of stolen things), also: act of publishing (rare)
der Herausgeber – the publisher (common)
herausgeben – give out/release (for stuff that has been withheld, or pieces of information)
rausgeben – give back change 

 

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Julia
Julia

We’d just say “do you have the right change?” or “sorry I don’t have change for a note”. You wouldn’t necessarily need to say both as one assumes the other.

duuuudeZ
duuuudeZ

Or, “do you have exact change? Because I can’t break your bill. or I can’t break a 10 / a 50.”

aoind
aoind

Here in Liverpool that would be “Ave yer got the right money luv? A’m ourra change”

alexviajero
alexviajero

Cute… I don’t have much trouble understanding Liverpool English. Any further north, however (esp. Glasgow Scottish – or “Glaswegian”), and I’m lost :)

Katrin Knauer
Katrin Knauer

I’ve never heard a guy call a woman “mate”

Jastonite
Jastonite

In the United States, the most common phrasing would be: “Do you have exact change?” and “Sorry, I can’t make change.” As Julia says, one wouldn’t ever really say both. It is common to see written signs saying “Exact change required.”, “Cannot make change for $50”, “No change for $50”.

Jastonite
Jastonite

Oh, and “Do you have change for a [name of note]?” is very common.

alexviajero
alexviajero

Hmm. This would have been a very handy word(s) to have had in my arsenal when I lived in Germany. Very well explained.

Oh, I have to comment. You really have a great ear for current, colloquial English. This sentence, “Does ausgeben mean to give out, like logic and common sense suggest? Or is there some crazy, stupid twist because … German.” made me laugh out loud. Very clever and funny, and contemporary (because this formulation is something quite recent in today’s English). Kudos.

Katrin Knauer
Katrin Knauer

These days, if you’re buying several rounds, you can’t just pretend to be rich, you’d HAVE to be LOL

Ruth
Ruth

“Wieviel Geld gibst du im Monat für Essen aus?”
How would you ask how much someone spends on eating out? “Wieviel Geld gibst du im Monat für auswärts Essen aus?” ? Is the the aus-heaviness a problem to native ears?

natasha
natasha

I would just like to say thank you Emanuel for the 3 month sponsorship. I love your blog it is one of my best learning german resources and since certain circumstances have left me very poor its very kind of you to let me continue learning here! Thanks!

Jake
Jake

Was ist denn der Unterschied zwischen herausgeben und veröffentlichen? Und herausbringen?

Meine Lieblingsband hat letzte Woche eine neue Platte _____. (Laut Google ist “veröffentlicht” bevorzugt)

Bilal
Bilal

Vielen Dank, Das hilft mir. :)

garrydolley
garrydolley

Sehr guter Artikel. Vielen Dank!

person243
person243

I would like to mention the prefix version of this word. ;) “verausgaben”. Okay, it is not a perfect prefix word of “ausgeben” as you have another vowel in there but the words are close enough to consider their relationship. As often the case “ver-” adds a “depleting” or a “nihilating” touch to the word. As “verausgaben” means to “to burn yourself out” or “to overwork yourself” (to give it all). Still it has often a not so bad ring to it. You would use it for sports when you try to test your limit. But also in your work when you make double or triple shifts, sitting there with your not so hot coffee, the almost last one in the building and your coworker about to go, aking: “Machst du noch lange?” – “Nein, nur noch ein Artikel für die Wochendausgabe.” – “Okay, aber verausgabe dich nicht zu sehr.” = “Are you still going on for long?” – “No, just one article for the weekend edition.” – “Okay, but do not overwork youself too much.”

The word is conjugated like a weak verb and not separable. And duden.de lists two quite uncommon usages of the word in very formal writing and for the mailbusiness where it somehow can mean “ausgeben” and “herausgeben” respectively. Although I have never heard of this usage for giving out stamps. Well, probably because I always send my mailage directly in the mailoffice without buying stamps first.

Anyway, nice article again, keep up your good work.

carmen

Hallo! :)
Many many many thanks to the owner of the blog! He offered me the possibility to access for free the site resources for a period of time! I am so gratefull, considering the fact I have to reactivate and improve my German since I am going to move to Germany soon.
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And congrats for this so well structured blog!

Stefany Rodríguez
Stefany Rodríguez

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diego

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saravanan_os
saravanan_os

Is ausgeben the most common verb to denote spending ?

kuan
kuan

Hi everyone. My name is Peter, and I want to thank the sponsors and german-is-easy for the opportunity to learn german!

Ich habe vor, jeden Tag ein bisschen Deutsch zu lesen und lernen, sodass ich endlich gut Deustch sprechen kann.

Viele grüße aus Taiwan :D

barratt
barratt

Ich habe ein Beispiel gefunden, in dem man “herausgeben” benutzt für “Kleingeld rausgeben”.

-“Dafür kriegen Sie bei mir nichts,” sagte der Fahrer. “Auf 20 Mark muss ich nicht herausgeben.”

Benutzt der Autor vielleicht diesen Ausdruck (anstatt rausgeben), damit der Busfahrer super streng und hochnäsig klingt?

Aviv
Aviv

Bisher hab ich nur “wechseln” benutzt, wenn ich Papiergeld zu Müntzen rausgeben wollte. Was passt am bestens in diesem Zusammenhang?

iijolin2
iijolin2

Vielen vielen Dank für den Artikel von “ausgeben”. Super hilfreich.