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anstellen

Meanings

1.
to turn on
(For “mid-sized” stuff like a TV, a heater, a washing machine. But definitely less common than "anmachen".)
Opposite (closest): abstellen
2.
to make a mess, to mischief
("etwas+Acc anstellen" - Mostly used for pets or kids after they messed something up, usually with a generic word like "etwas" or "nichts". NOT with the specific deed.)
3.
to join a line, to queue up
("sich+Acc anstellen"... it's the moment of lining up. Waiting in line itself is called "anstehen".)
4.
to employ
(Only in the sense of work employment. "einstellen" is the more common choice as a verb, but many related words are based on "anstellen". As for login, you can think of it as "activating" as well as "putting at" the machine :).)
5.
to go about something in a stupid/smart/… way or to act stupid/smart/… while performing a task
("sich+Acc anstellen" - comes in combination with adjectives like smart, dumb, skilled and similar.)
6.
to make a fuss, act sissy, be a drama queen
("sich+Acc anstellen" ... colloquial. Usually in combination with "(nicht) so".)

Examples

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Read more

German Prefix Verbs Explained - "anstellen"

A quick look at the five (5!!) completely different meanings of "anstellen" and how they all connect. Definitely one of the craziest German prefix verbs.


The meaning(s) of the Prefix Verb - "anstehen"

A fun look at the various meanings of "anstehen" and what waiting in line has to do with manners and letters on a board.


Word Family

Root: *sta-
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