Prefix Verbs Explained – “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.

  • Grammatik-Regel Nummer 1: Zu jeder Regel gibt es eine Ausnahme. Auch zu Regel Nummer 1.
  • Grammar-Rule number 1: To every rule, there’s an exception. Including rule number 1.

And guess what… exception and Ausnahme are the EXACT same word. In exception we have the prefix ex, which just like aus expresses outside-ness, and we have  “cept” which comes from the Latin word capere and that word meant… to take. Just like nehmen, which is the base for “nahme”. So…. both literally mean take-out. They’re just not a tasty take-out from the deli but the nasty take-out from a rule…. or some regularity.

  • Deutsch hat garnicht so viele Ausnahmen, wie viele denken.
  • German doesn’t have as many exceptions as many believe.
  • Eigentlich esse ich kein Fleisch aber heute mache ich mal eine Ausnahme.
  • Normally, I don’t eat meat but today I’ll make an exception.

Now, there are two related words to Ausnahme that express the same idea. The first  is  ausnahmweise.  It is super uber common and means something along the lines of by way of exception or as an exception.

  • Kind:     “Kann ich noch fernsehen?”
    Mutter: “Ok, aber nur ausnahmsweise.”
  • Kid: “Can I watch TV a little longer?”
    Mother: “Okay, but it’s an exception.”

I guess, we should note that ausnahmsweise does NOT mean exceptional(ly) in sense of exceptional quality. That would be expressed by other words.

  • Deine Suppe war ausnahmsweise gut.
  • Your soup was good for once/for a change.
  • Deine Suppe war außergewöhnlich/extrem gut.
  • Your soup was exceptionally good.

All right.
The second useful word is ausgenommen.  You’d use that to exclude items from a list … like save, excluded, other than or apart from. Kind of like the fancier brother of ausser. It sounds fancier and it has the fancier grammar because it can be placed before AND after the stuff it exempts.

  • Alle auf Arbeit, (ausgenommen) Thomas und Maria ausgenommen, sind Idioten.
  • All the people at work except for Thomas and Maria are idiots.
  • Was ist euer Lieblingsgetränk, Bier mal ausgenommen?
  • What’s your favorite drink – apart from beer, I mean?

Now, ausgenommen is not just some random word. It’s actually the ge-form of the verb ausnehmen. Which brings us to the big question… what’s up with that? What’s up with ausnehmen?
The answer to that is … not much.
It is used in sense of excluding, exempting….but not in daily talk. Only in beautiful sentences like this one:

  • Nach Angaben der Zeitung erwägt der Gesetzgeber die Anbieter von offenem, kostenfreiem W-LAN von der Haftung für durch die Nutzer begangene Urheberrechtsverletzungen auszunehmen.
  • According to the newspaper, the legislature deliberates to exclude wlan supplier from liability for copy right violations committed by the user.

Oh and besides that, ausnehmen is also the  technical term for to gut and to gill

  • Ich habe noch nie einen Fisch ausgenommen.
  • I’ve never gilled a fish.

but unless you’re a hunter, a fisherman or a journalist you will not need ausnehmen like ever. Seriously… I’m pretty sure I haven’t used it in years – the one time I needed it in context of Fisch ausnehmen mal ausgenommen ;).
All right. What I do use though is the r-version.

rausnehmen

This r-version is no exception at all. As usual, it takes the combination of verb and prefix as literally as possible. Rausnehmen means to take something out of something.

  • Thomas geht zum Kühlschrank und nimmt sich ein Bier raus.
  • Thomas goes to the fridge and takes out a beer (for himself).
    (the self reference is not needed but very idiomatic)

  • Der Autor hat den komischen Abschnitt wieder rausgenommen.
  • The author has taken  the weird paragraph back out.
  • Maria nimmt über Nacht ihr Piercing raus.
  • Maria takes out her piercing for the night.

It is also used in the somewhat abstract phrasing sich das Recht rausnehmen  (lit.: take out the right for oneself) and the shortened version sich etwas rausnehmen which both express the idea of (self righteously) allowing yourself some freedom that others don’t quite agree with.

  • 1 Euro extra für 3D, 1 Euro extra für IMAX, 1 Euro extra für Überlänge und jetzt noch 1 Euro extra weil’s in Farbe ist? Echt unglaublich, was sich die Filmindustrie rausnimmt.
  • 1 extra Dollar for 3D, 1 extra Dollar for IMAX, 1 extra dollar for extra length and now 1 Dollar because it’s in color.  It’s incredibly what the movie industry has the guts for/dares to do.

  • Ja, ich habe den Verkäufer angemotzt. Aber als hochschwangere kann man sich das ruhig mal rausnehmen.
  • Yes, I did bitch at the person at the cash register. But as when you’re heavily pregnant I think you‘re kind of entitled to that.

All right.
And I think that’s it for today.
This was our Prefix Verb Short and it was an exception because we looked at the noun die Ausnahme which is what we love most about languages…. an exception. The r-version is also pretty good to know but verb ausnehmen itself not useful at all and it’s enough to understand it from context.
As always, if you want you can take the little quiz I have prepared for you. And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions or if you want to share your favorite exceptions, just leave me a comment.
I hope you liked it and see you next time.

 

**  die Ausnahme – fact sheet  **

meaning: 
exception

based on:
ausnehmen – to exclude, to exempt, to gut (only in official language and when hunting or fishing)

related words:
ausnahmsweise – as an exception, by way of exception, for once … NOT exceptionally in sense of outstanding quality
ausgenommen – apart, except, (rare)
rausnehmen – to actually  take out something from something
der Ausnahmezustand – emergency rule, state of emergency
ausnahmslos – without exception

 

[ydgcm_get_entries /]

 

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Name
Name
2 years ago

Great article. One point though is that the usage of “rausnehmen” for entitlement. For example, translating this sentence

“The boss thinks he is entitled to special treatment”

Would be ” Der chef glaubt, er steht besondere Behandlung/Extrawurst zu.

I mean that I dont think you can use it directly in terms of giving or receiving. Its kinda indirect (idk how to phrase it ) Here is on example(s) I thought of.

Es ist unmöglich zu glauben, was sich er rausnehmen.
Sein Teil nehmt nicht raus was er getan haben (highly doubt this one)

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

The second sentence should mean “his part does not entitle him to what he has done”

Some context : part as in “his part of work/project”
Dankeschön.

As for they username, I will stick with a final new one (Turtles). Sorry for the mess

person243
person243
6 years ago

I see that “ausnehmen” in the sense of “jemanden ausnehmen wie ein Weihnachtsgans” is already in the comments. Aside from that you did again an exceptional job in explaining this word family and relatively short this time too. Only one other word I would consider as missing, the particip 1 of ausnehmen: “ausnehmend”. It is like most of the words in this family a bit fancy but it adds an interesting facett to the word I would say. You would use it mostly before an article as a strengthener. Like in:

Wir waren alle bei ausnehmend guter Laune. = We all were in an exceptionally good mood.

Wow, what a surprise there it is: “exceptionally”. So that was in the spectrum of this family after all. Well, it does not work as a lonely adjective though. “Das ist ausnehmend.” makes no sense at all.

PS: You should look at the duden.de page to this word the synonyms are just cracy. It wents from “auffallend”(remarkable) over “himmlisch”(heavenly) on to “irre”(crazy) all the way to “scheußlich”(abominable). All words you could also use to strengthen another adjective but are if used as adjectives on their own very much opposites.

person243
person243
6 years ago
Reply to  person243

Wow, that were many mistakes in such a short comment. Firstly I meant “adjective” in line 6 not “article”. And the PS is just messed up “crazy” not “cracy” and what have I thought when I wrote “wents”? It should be “goes”. There are some more errors but these ones seem to be the worst. Sorry for that.

Kavenge
Kavenge
7 years ago

hey would you please recommmend a good website where I can get the opportunity to practise speaking with a native speaker so that I can put all I learn from your blog into practice.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
7 years ago

“Kann ich noch Fernsehen?”

Das sollte kleingeschrieben werden. Kein Substantiv ;)

LondonBridge
LondonBridge
7 years ago

It would be great if you could add newsletter feature to your cool blog. I checked it regularly but it’s not like you will post every day or at some specific time, so its kind of not efficient :3. I don’t know clearly but seem like wordpress has that feature itself.

LondonBridge
LondonBridge
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Oh thank you it worked! Sorry just being new to wordpress, and used to newsletter box in blogs too much ;)

Stavros
Stavros
7 years ago

Einfach tolle erklärungen!

kev
kev
7 years ago

Hi Just wondered if you have a search facility on this site to list articles on a given word or phrase, I think this would be very useful.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

There is one more – colloquial – use of “ausnehmen” as when it is used as “abzocken” or “ausrauben”.

Emma
Emma
7 years ago

I would like to know how you started to learn German, did you begin with the common words or sentences, or did you begin with the alphabet and grammar etc. Alternatively, did you do speaking and reading at the same time or start with one or the other? Thanks x

ubungmachtdenmeister
Reply to  Emma

Ive been learning it for a few years now and whilst its not great (my skill level of the language) its come on a lot. I think you need to do a bit of everything but not all at once. I started off learning the easy basics (numbers,letters,basic grammar,simple words) I started off speaking it first, but only because i was in germany and had to learn fast, but now i think the speaking part of me is way behind, i can read/hear and understand a lot more than i can produce by writing and way more than i can speak, but those 2 only come from being actively involved in german (or any language) as part of your daily life (at least in my opinion). Probably easiest to start with reading and writing together, and then later on speaking and listening come as a pair also. You should probably keep a minimum exposure of listening at all times throughout the learning process, certainly for me it helps to know the words by sound and text, just so i can tie them together. Duolingo is a great resource for taking the first steps in the language, as you progress you will outgrow it but you will know when that time comes. Try to expose yourself to the language every day in some way (by reading the news, by watching a video on youtube or coming to this site and reading the great blogs within :D) and even though you might not notice progress, it all goes in there and comes out eventually. If you need any more resource pointers i can certainly give you some more ideas based on the things that i did back then to get started.

Abal Neto
7 years ago

I’ve just entered this site and I started laughting. This site is simply amazing, it makes learning german so much fun.
The best part? I’m serious.

Paolo
Paolo
7 years ago

Super entry – thanks! One question:

Ich nehme ein Buch aus dem Regal (he)raus

Would this double “aus” be correct/common, or would just the first do?

Kat
Kat
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It never occurred to me until you pointed this out how odd that is :-)

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Brilliant post as usual.
Could you please explain how ‘mal’ (in: Eigentlich esse ich kein Fleisch aber heute mache ich mal eine Ausnahme.) fits into the translation “Normally, I don’t eat meat but today I’ll make an exception.” The translation still seems to work without it.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

mal entspricht mehr oder weniger dem russichen “-ka”. “Ya posmotryu televizor” = “Ich werde fernsehen”. A bit trocken. “Posmotryu-ka ya televizor” = “Ich sehe mal fern”. More relaxed and colloquial.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Yes, it works for commands.
“Prinesi mne chayu” – “Bring mir Tee”.
“Prinesi-ka mne chayu” – “Bring mir mal Tee”.

The second sounds softer, though in some contexts it’s a bit too “familiar”, one should be careful with it so as not to appear impolite.

“Oh, and does the -ka have a “normal” function?”

None that I would be aware of. It’s a particle (or postfix) that serves specifically this purpose.

Nikolaus Wittenstein

Patreon! Gute Idee. :)

Kat
Kat
7 years ago

You may want to point out that “rausnehmen” is short for “herausnehmen”….might confuse some folks :-)

Kat
Kat
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ha! True….leaving the “her” out is definitely more colloquial; and I guess once again, there are regional differences – in connection with “legen”, I think I would use “drauf”, rather than “rauf” (I’m guessing that’s short for “da” and “rauf”…)

ubungmachtdenmeister
Reply to  Emanuel

Exception-ridden hah, könnte das zwar nicht ausnahmsvoll sein? Vielleicht nicht aber ich mag deutsche Worter abzubilden, weil es mir spaß ist. Ich hab schon gefragt, wie dein Buch lauft, geht es schon in ordnung oder? Mir ist ein bisschen traurig, da mein eigene Blog in Trümmern liegen wird, weil ich keine Zeit dafür habe. Ich freue mich immer, wenn mein Inbox, was von deinem Blog gibt. Mach einfach mal weiter so einen wundervolles Blog. Ich werde mich als Patreon anmelden sobald ich dieser Kommentar fertig gemacht habe.