Advent Calendar 9 – “Freeze!”




Hallo Leute,

door number 9 of our Advent Calendar and behind it’s freezing.
Because today we’ll look at the German translation of to freeze.
Nah, kidding. Of course I mean translations :).
Because, you know, German just doesn’t know when it’s had enough.
“Wordtender, I’ll have another version, please! With ice.”
“Don’t you think you’re good for tonight?”
“Aw, c’me on browwww, I’m jus’ like tipsy. Just one more, okay. I promise I won’t vomit this time.”

So, the direct German relative of to freeze is frieren. And frieren does mean to freeze BUT …. at least in daily German it is used ONLY in the sense of you feeling cold.

For the actual freezing, the change from liquid to ice, we’ll use one of several prefix versions. Hooray.
The most generic one, the one that water does at below zero, is gefrieren. Because, in case you didn’t know… the ge- is not limited to that spoken past stuff. It’s a regular prefix, too, just like ver- or be-. What does it express? Well, let’s just say completion for now and hope that a certain Emanuel character finally completes his freaking book on the stuff.
Anyway, examples.

If you payed close attention you might have noticed frieren and gefrieren actually have the same ge-form. But one uses haben, the other one sein for the spoken past, so we can tell them apart. Phew… I know you were worried.

So confusing :).
The other prefix versions are basically all specific kinds of freezing. And I think you can kind of guess their gist from the prefix. Zufrieren, literally to freeze closed, is what lakes and rivers do. Einfrieren is kind of freezing for things. The main context is us freezing food but also a screen freezing is einfrieren.

Then, there’s erfrierenwhich is to freeze to deathand last but not least abfrieren which is pretty much the same as to freeze off and it’s mostly used in colloquial German for feeling really cold.

And that’s it. Now you have an overview over how to say to freeze in German. And it wasn’t actually that bad. The main thing to take away is that frieren alone ONLY means to freeze in sense of being cold.

This sounds like the poor beer is shivering because it is dressed too lightly. Probably a Bud.
*Badumm Tish.
Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want to try out some examples. Hope you enjoyed it and see you tomorrow.


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