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Meanings

1.
to become, to turn
Value:
Opposite: sein
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2.
will
(helper verb for future)
Value:
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3.
to be, to get
(helper verb for passive)
Value:
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My Articles

The meaning of "werden"

"werden" means "to become". And it builds the future. And the passive. OMG. Today, we'll find out all about it. Also: 'become' and 'bekommen' explained :).


Word of the Day - "werden - Future and Passive"

We'll explore why the verb "werden" is used for future AND passive voice and how to do it. Also: a really peculiar feature of German passive voice.


Style Special - "Facial expressions"

A fun overview over facial expressions in German. We'll go over all kinds of things that you can do with your face with lots of examples.

Vocab:

lachen, lächeln, der Mund, die Augen, blinzeln, hochnäsig, rümpfen, runzeln


False Friends Explained - "bekommen vs become"

Vocab:

bekommen


Word Family

Root: *wer-

This is one of several roots that had at their core the idea of:

turning, winding, bending

The most obvious English offspring are words like worm, warp, weird, wrestle, wrist and more (see below).

But also -ward, worry, worth and wrong belong to the family, each with their own… ahem… twist on the original sense.

But the root is also the origin of the Latin verb *vertere. This verb meant to bend and it’s the origin of dozens of words like versus, vertebra, invert, subvert, versatile and me … I mean… introvert.

The three most important relatives in German are werden (“turning toward, winding up” -> to become), der Wert (“what you give versus what you get” -> worth) and werfen (“winding motion with your hand”- to throw).

Here’s an (incomplete) list of English relatives and how they tie in with the original sense:

  • -ward (“winding in a direction”)
  • warp 
  • weird (“twisted”)
  • worm, vermin
  • wrestle, wrist (“winding, bending”)
  • wrinkle, wriggle, wrangle,… (all about “twisting” in some way)
  • wrong (originally “twisting your mouth”)
  • worry (originally “to strangle the throat”)
  • worth (originally what you give “versus” something else)
  • versus (“turn toward”)
  • version (“what you turn out, rendition”)
  • vertebra (“what bends”)
  • versatile (“turns in many directions”)
  • invert (“turn backward”)
  • convert (“to turn to”)
  • extrovert (“turned outward”)
  • introvert (me)
  • pervert (“turned beyond”)
  • subvert (Star Wars expectations)
  • anniversary (“turn of the year”)
  • universe (all wrapped in one)
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