Dictionary preposition *apo- ab


off, separation
(In the sense of separation.)
How useful:
starting (from)
(In sense of location and time. More common for time in daily life when talking about a process starting in the future.)
How useful:
How useful:


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German Time Prepositions - Meaning, Usage, Example

We'll go over the important time prepositions in German (bis, seit, vor,...), see what they express and what common mistakes to avoid. With plenty of audio examples :)


vor, in, bis, seit, ab

German Prefixes Explained - "ab"


ab, bergab, abwärts, abmachen, abgehen, ablegen, abfangen, absagen, abwarten

Word Family

Root: *apo-

The core idea of this root was:

off, away

It’s still well preserved in the German word ab.
English offspring are of, off and after, as well ebb (the water is “away”).
And it’s also the origin of the words with the Latin prefix ab- and the branch around the Greek apo-.
Here’s a little (incomplete) overview:

  • abnormal (away from normal)
  • abdicate (“say away”)
  • apology (“the speech that removes”)
  • apocalypse (Originally: “taking the lid away” – it used to be about insights, not doom)
  • aperitif (removing the cover, starting)
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