Dictionary verb ver verb *spere- sprechen versprechen



to promise
(always has to have at LEAST a direct object. So "Ich verspreche" by itself is wrong. You need to say "es" or something.)
to expect/have hope something from [X]
("sich (dative) etwas von [X] versprechen")
to misspeak, to make a slip of the tongue
("sich (accusative) versprechen")


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Word Family

Root: *spere-

The core idea of the root (according to English sources) was:


German sources have the meaning for focused on motion and describe it as

twitching with the foot, unrest

In German, it shifted toward a sense of tracking (by foot) and then kept going toward the sense of perceiving.

English doesn’t have many relatives – spur, spoor, spurn.
They haven’t shifted their meaning as much, so they’re still somewhat close to ankle or to a broad sense of twitching.

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