Advent Calendar 22 – “R or no R”


Hallo ihr lieben,

day 22 of our Advent Calendar, everyone is almost in their Christmas holiday but one last time you have to get active.
This time, we’ll deal a bit with

Prefix Verbs

We’ve covered quite a few of those by now in our never ending series “Prefix Verbs Explained” and one staple in all the articles is the r-version. R-version is NOT an official grammar term or anything, it’s just what I call this version of a prefix verb with an extra r. Like… ausmachen – rausmachen or eingehen – reingehen. There are billions and millions of those pairs and understanding the difference, getting a feel for what the r-version expresses can be really helpful with orienting in this crazy prefix zoo.

And today we’ll do a little work out for this stuff. I’ll give you a sentence and you have to decide whether to use the normal prefix or the r-version.
Let’s do an example:

  • Thomas geht heute nicht ___ .  (correct answer: raus)
    (Thomas is not going outside today.)

As you can see, I’m actually giving you most of the German AND a (somewhat literal) translation this time. So you can really focus on the question whether it’s r or not r. Oh and you have to pick the right prefix, of course ;). The translation often gives you a hint, but it’s definitely a bit of vocab training, too.

So… I’d say let’s jump ri… what?… oh… oh, a quick rule of thumb, sure no problem. Here comes wisdom about the German language, number 104:

R-versions are super literal and about location or direction.  

They’re often the correct choice for the most let’s jump right in. Solutions are as usual in the audio, and also below.

1) Die Tür geht nicht ___ .
(The door doesn’t come open.)


2) Ich habe ein T-Shirt ___ .
(I have a shirt on.)


3) Ich gehe die Treppe ___ .
(I’m going down the stairs.)


4) Die Suppe ist fad. Ich mache noch Salz ___ .
(The soup is bland. I’ll add salt.)


5) Der Bär wacht ___ .
(The bear is waking up.)


6) Maria sieht heute gut ___ .
(Maria is looking good today.)


7) Die Sonne geht ____ .
(The sun goes up)


8) Wenn ich Zug fahre, gucke ich gerne ___ .
(When I’m going by train, I like to look outside.)

(1 – auf, 2 – an, 3 – runter, 4 – ran, 5 – auf, 6 – aus, 7 – auf, 8 – raus) 


9) Die Miete geht ___ .
(The rent goes up.)


10) Mein Handy geht immer ___ .
(My mobile always turns off.)


11) Mir fällt der Name grad nicht ___ .
(The name won’t come to my mind right this second.)


12) Der Pullover geht beim ersten Waschen ___ .
(The pullover shrinks at the first washing.)


13) Maria kommt ___ .
(Maria comes in.)


14) Ich schlafe morgen ___ .
(I’m gonna sleep in tomorrow. #carefultricky ;)


15) Thomas geht mit der Stimme ___.
(Thomas goes down with his voice.)


16) Das Restaurant sieht nett aus. Komm, wir gehen ___ .
(The restaurant looks nice. Come, let’s go inside. )


(9 – rauf, 10 – aus, 11 – ein, 12 – ein, 13 – rein, 14 – aus, 15- runter, 16 – rein)

And, how’d you do? How many did you get right? Let me know in the comments how you did and let’s clear up all the questions you have there :).
I hope you enjoyed this, have a great one, and I’ll
c u tmrrw (hint, hint ;).

for members :)

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Eine gute Übung! Ich habe zwei Fehler in den Nummern 4 und 14 gemacht.

Abdul Basith
Abdul Basith

I’m not good enough yet- of course, at German- to understand these stuff. However, that shall not prevent me from thanking Emmanuel and my fellow mates here. The very first article I read excited me. How interactive they are!! Then one more..I was struck with a message. After reading the FAQs, I decided to contact the admin. To my surprise, got reply along with a membership. Excited again.

My hearty thanks to Emmanuel and the contributors to made my presence possible. I am looking forward a great time here with loads of fun. Thanks again. :) :)


„Die Sonne geht auf.“ Besides the strict fact that „aufgehen“ is the verb for „to rise,“ I can’t understand the reasoning here. It seems that the sun goes up as literally as I go up the stairs, and more literally then the rent goes up, where „rauf“ is used…


I concur. Confusion persists.

Quang Pham
Quang Pham

Don’t know why but that 15th sentence’s audio made me laugh like a maniac.


WhooHoo! I got ONE correct! Yep. One. Count ’em. Uno. Ein. Number 6. Maria sieht heute gut ___ .(Maria is looking good today.) Says a lot about me – what words I know, and ALL the ones I don’t!


A nice little exercise. Didn’t keep note of all the rights and wrongs. Definitely wrong on no.9, but somehow right on no.15. Had no idea which prefixes to use for no.s 4 & 14. (Is that what was tricky about 14?)

Was some techno wizardry used on the audio for no.15, or did you manage that all by yourself?? Seems totally appropriate to me, anyway.

Vielen Dank für vielen Spaß. Frohe Weihnachten! ……You’ve surely earned yourself a break, Emanuel.

john dauria
john dauria

first must one get the type of prefix and then opt for r or no r…so i got 12 1/2 correct. merry xmas

john dauria
john dauria

i mean 25


I got 8 and 9 wrong and said “rauf” for #4. I just assumed since the salt is going on top of the soup it would be “rauf”.

Luiz Benedini
Luiz Benedini

I just do not understand Miete geht rauf.. It is not about direction, location or super literal. So, why?


I also thought “Die Miete geht auf”, just like “Die Sonne geht auf”. What’s the difference?


Sir, this is one artful piece of exercise!