Meanings

1.
to work out
(In the sense of working out a plan, for example, NOT a plan working out!)
Value:
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2.
to get through working
("sich+Dat etwas erarbeiten" - for instance a reputation or a mansion)
Value:
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The German Prefix "er-" explained

The prefix "er-" seems to be very confusing, but there's actually a common underlying theme. Today, we'll find out what that is and check out examples.


Word of the Day - "die Arbeit"

Vocab:

die Arbeit, arbeiten, erben, das Erbe, Roboter


Word Family

Root: *orbh-

The core idea of this root was:

orphan, without father, “change allegiance”

And very early on, people also started using it in the sense of being poor or in serfdom, because that was a common fate for orphans.
This idea is reflected in the German arm (poor).
And also the word Arbeit used to means hard, tiring labor – the kind that serfs would have to do.

The German erben, which is about inheriting, on the other hand ties in with the idea of having lost the father.

Here’s an overview over the English relatives:

  • robot (a slave like worker)
  • orphan, orphanage
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