Prefix Advent Calendar – 15

Schönen 15. Dezember euch allen!


Brechen means to break and verbrechen, with the change-ver, used to be just a stronger, result focused version: “to break for real, to break so it’s really broken”.
Both were also used in context of breaking the law and that’s the meaning verbrechen has today: to commit a crime.
The verb itself is rarely used, and never in present tense, but the related words, especially the noun, are super common. 
der Verbrecher – the criminal
das Verbrechen – the crime

  • Ich habe nichts verbrochen.
  • I didn’t do anything wrong. (lit.: I didn’t commit a crime)
  • Ja, ich habe im Busch uriniert. Das ist doch kein Verbrechen.
  • Yes, I peed in the bush. But come on, that isn’t a crime.

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

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6 years ago

For “befehlen”, we had a famous war-related film, “Der Untergang”. But the word “Verbrecher” always makes me think of the last scene in a film from the DDR: “Ich war neunzehn”. Can’t find a clip, sadly. I saw it on DVD via Netflix. IIRC, it’s quite good for learners of German, because it’s relatively slow-paced.