Prefix Advent Calendar – 11


Today’s word is not a must have for language learning … but it definitely helps :)


die Begabung

It comes from the verb begeben which meant “to inflict giving”. Meant? Yeah meant, because begeben has changed so much that it’s not even remotely about geben anymore. It’s crazy.
Begabung however mostly stayed true to its origin. It just got “epic-ed up”, a notch. You don’t use it for worldly gifts anymore, only for talents and skills that we were given at birth.
In comparison with das Talent, it sounds a bit more solemn or divine. 

begabt – gifted, talented

  • Maria ist sehr klavierbegabt.
  • Maria has a great talent for the piano.
  • Jeder hat die eine oder andere Begabung.
  • Every one has one or two talents.

Wenn ihr Fragen habt, oder ein paar Beispiele ausprobieren wollt, schreibt einfach einen Kommentar.

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6 years ago

I don’t actually understand what he means by “inflict giving”; begeben kann also be used for “transporting oneself” – sich begeben [an Bord, nach draußen, in die Stadt etc.]
to take oneself [on board, outside, to town, etc.]
sich (so) begeben [geh.] [geschehen, sich zutragen]
to come to pass [esp. literary]

6 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

You’re right. Sorry. Guess I didn’t read that right. Still don’t understand what “to inflict giving” means :-) Kannst du das mal auf Deutsch sagen?

6 years ago
Reply to  kat

You might read his post on the prefix be-:
“be–something basically means to inflict that something on something or someone”
He’ll reference it a lot without comment, probably because he doesn’t want to write the same entry every entry. Here it is, anyway:

6 years ago

I’m confused – for me, “begeben” means “happen” – as in, very fittingly for the season, the Nativity Story “Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit….”

6 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Hence the “meant” in the post. :)

In what other contexts would you see “begeben” for “happen”? I’d forgotten that that was how Luther et al. translated that quirky ἐγένετο/וַיְהִי usage – in the King James it’s “and it came to pass in those days…”


Du bist erklärungsbegabt?

6 years ago

Muss eine Gottesgabe sein!