Word of the Day – “rechnen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. And you had better be ready, for the day of reckoning has come.
Dut dut dunnnnn.
Well, okay… actually it’s more the day of “mathening”. Because today, we’ll look at

rechnen

 

Rechnen is the German brother of to reckon but unlike to reckon, which is mostly used figuratively, rechnen is still about making actual calculations with actual numbers.
Yeah… yawn.
But what’s even more yawn are the countless prefix versions of rechnen like (anrechnen, abrechnen, ausrechnen, vorrechnen,… ) which all give us information about how or why or where or at what temperature Fahrenheit a calculation is being made.

But at least if you’re planning on living in Germany for some time, it’s paramount really good to have a rough idea about the rechnen-family because these words are all over the place and can get confusing. So let’s get bored together…

A quick look at where they come from first: rechnen and to reckon actually come from the jawdroppingly ancient Indo-European root *reg, the same root that right and recht are from. The core idea of the family was simply a straight line, and the original idea  of rechnen and reckon was a rather broad sense of setting the record straight.
And at some point this notion of computation came in but English preferred to compute and calculate for the number stuff. No surprise there, because English is HUUGE fan boy of Latin. Yup, calling you out, English. I bet when  you were a teenager, you had a room full of posters of Latin. Latin looking pensive, Latin on a Skateboard, Latin shirtless, showing abdominals.
But German, too, is a fan boy – a fan boy of words that sounds like something is stuck in your throat. So it is no surprise that rechnen REALLY took off and became the standard verb for doing calculations – both, in a sense of actually doing math and in a figurative sense of expecting a result based on what you know.

The last one is probably the closest rechnen and to reckon come.  You definitely DON’T use rechnen as that idiomatic “I reckon” that you can find in English (is that an American thing, by the way, or do Brits also reckon stuff)? The best German translation I can think of is annehmen (to suppose).

You might also be wondering about the noun reckoning. Well, we’ll see what that is later, but it’s definitely NOT die Rechnung. Rechnung is actually a pretty important word, because not only can be a general calculation, it’s also the German word for an invoice AND for the bill in a restaurant (sounds a bit fancy, so not to be used in a bar).

Oh and while we’re at nouns let’s also mention der Rechner which is the German word for a computer, either desktop or laptop…. NOT tablet.

Cool.
So this was the first impression of rechnen versions and what exactly they mean.
Yeay!
Are you pumped?!
I can’t hear you! ARE YOU PU… okay, whatever. Let’s just get it over with.

ausrechnen, errechnen and berechnen

The first two, ausrechnen and errechnen are basically cousins in that both prefixes shift the focus to the result of the calculation. The  difference is pretty much only tone. Er- often has an epic vibe to it, and so er- verbs tend to not be used for mundane, everyday stuff.

  • Wir müssen ausrechnen, wer wie viel für die Party zahlen muss.
  • We have to calculate who has to pay how much for the party.

Neither of the two verbs has a noun, but the the ge-form of ausrechnen, ausgerechnet, is also used as a stand alone expressing the idea of “out of all things/options it HAD to be this one?!“, usually in contexts where you complain.

The third one, berechnen is also more result focused than just rechnen. But it sounds more technical and computational.

But it’s not limited to heavy number crunching. And the adjective berechnend is actually a negative word for a person who is calculating in the sense of they’re not really being authentic but have a hidden agenda.

Cool.
Next up, we have abrechnen.

abrechnen

This one might be the most important one of all of them.
Just like the ones we’ve seen so far, abrechnen is focused on the end of the calculating, but the focus is a little different:  it’s  the idea of closure. Kind of like abschließen (to lock).
You usually find abrechnen in contexts where there some sort of debt to settle; two contexts in particular: payback in the sense of revenge. And paying in the sense of paying a salary (thus settling the debt for the work). That’s why at the end of a month, as an employee you get a Abrechnung.

Oh and since quite a few of you are students…. if you’re working in a bar or restaurant, counting your wallet at the end of a shift is also called abrechnen or Abrechnung machen.

Cool.
Moving on to the next group which could be called transformational rechnen.

transformational rechnen

Sounds kind of cool. Like… finding your life purpose or something. But it’s not as epic. It’s just a bunch of verbs that talk about how you transform something by doing math.
The most important verb is umrechnen which is German for to convert. In the context of numbers, not in context of God.

The other ones are more or less self explanatory… reinrechnen means to include something into an actual equation, rausrechnen means to remove something through by making calculations, kleinrechnen means to make small through calculations and schönrechnen means to make pretty through calculations.
Which brings us right to my beauty secret and –>>my new Online Course <<– “The Beauty Equation”. In it, I share with you the daily calculus routine I am doing that makes my skin SO SOFT,  my hair SO GLOWING and gives me this amazing natural chasma … I mean charisma. Sign up now for the once in a life time price of $199 instead of $9000. Calculate how much you save and feel your skin unwrink…
“Emanuel, can you PLEASE continue with the article.”
Oh… uh… sorry… do you want examples for these verbs?
“No, we’re good. Are there anymore prefix verbs for rechnen we should know?”
Gee… why you in such a hurry? Learning German isn’t a race. It’s more like a life time companion.
Seriously though, the last one we really do need to mention is verrechnen.

(sich) verrechnen

Ver- lends its idea of wrong to the rechnen, so sich verrechnen means to miscalculate. And as so often with meanings that are based on the wrong-ver, you do need the self reference there

But if you’ve read my article on ver- , you’ll know that ver- has four notions to offer. So it is no surprise that verrechnen has a second meaning. It can also express the somewhat hard to describe idea of making something go away by doing calculations. Usually, it is used if two parties owe each other amounts of money and instead of paying back and forth, you calculate them together.

But yeah… actually it’s not that important. Just keep it somewhere in the back of your head that verrechnen is ALWAYS about miscalculating.
Cool, and that’s it for today, I think.
This was our look at the various versions of rechnen. Once again, my lovely unpaid assistant made a great little quiz so you can check if you remember the important points. And as always, if you have any questions or suggestions just leave me a comment.
I hope you liked it and see you next time.

Oh and don’t forget to sign up for my beauty-course. It’s epic.

 

0%
334

Test yourself on "rechnen"

How much do you know about "rechnen" and its 152686 prefix versions...

1 / 9

What does rechnen mean?

2 / 9

Which of the following can be called der Rechner in German?  (multiple answers)

3 / 9

You'd use the word die Rechnung when you want to have...  (multiple answers)

4 / 9

How do you translate:
Is there a hack how to convert miles to kilometers?

5 / 9

What’s the proper way to lament having to do the dishes:
Why me, of all people?

6 / 9

What is Judgement Day in German? (multiple answers)

7 / 9

How can you say the following in German:
I didn’t anticipate that this would be so easy.

8 / 9

How do you translate:
I miscalculated two times?

9 / 9

Which is the missing word:
"Wir müssen _____
, wer wie viel für die Party zahlen muss."

Your score is

The average score is 67%

** vocab **

rechnen – calculate
mit etwas rechnen – expect something/have something in the equation

die Rechnung – the invoice, the bill, the calculation
der Rechner – the computer (laptop, desktop)

ausrechnen – calculate (focus on result)
ausgerechnet – common way for the idea of “of all things” in negative contexts
errechnen – calculate (focus on result, epic)

abrechnen – to calculate, to settle a score 
die Abrechnung – the closing statement, the reckoning

berechnen – calculate
berechnend – calculating (for people who have “plans”)

umrechnen – to convert (numbers)

schönrechnen – make pretty by making calculations

sich verrechnen – miscalulate
etwas mit etwas verrechnen – weird calculation stuff

 

for members :)

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Grant R
Grant R

Reckon seems more regional here. Mostly southern. “I reckon you’re not from these parts.” Otherwise the verb, interestingly enough given that we calculate with figures, would often be “to figure.” “I figure you’re not from this area.”

Similarly ausrechnen is like “to figure out”. We have to “figure out” who has to pay how much for the party.

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri

Ausgezeichnet wie immer. Herlichen dank . Ich habe 3 Fehler gemecht. Die verben verrechnen und errechnen sind verwirend.
Ich habe auch das verb Zurechnen im Sinne von Zuordnen oder klassifizieren gesehen.

Barratt
Barratt

Ha! I did this as an exercise recently with example sentences.

abrechnen
Der Kellner wollte die Kasse abrechnen und nach Hause gehen, aber ein lästiger Kunde hielt ihn auf. Der Kunde wollte mit dem Restaurant abrechnen, aber er wollte nicht alles bezahlen. Er meinte, der Wein hatte ihm nicht geschmeckt – obwohl er die ganze Flasche leergetrunken hatte – und er bestand darauf, dass der Wein von dem Preis abgerechnet wurde. Der Kellner war so wütend, er plante, das nächste Mal mit diesem nervenden Typ abzurechnen, indem er in seine Speise spucken würde.

anrechnen
Ich rechne dem Autohändler als ein sympathischer Mensch an. Er hat mir die neuen Riefen nicht angerechnet und er hat mir das alte Auto mit 500 Euro angerechnet.

aufrechnen
Man kann die Kriegsverbrechen der einen Seite nicht gegen die der anderen aufrechnen.

ausrechnen
Billy hatte sich einen ganz entspannenden Tag ausgerechnet. Das Wetter war prima und er wollte angeln gehen. Jedoch hat sein Mathelehrer ausgerechnet heute eine riesige Menge Hausaufgaben gegeben. Anstatt angeln, musste er hunderte Gleichungen ausrechnen. Für seinen Physiklehrer musste er Trajektorien in Gravitationsfelder ausrechnen.

durchrechnen
Zum Glück rechnete der Ingenieur die Trajektorie der Rakete noch einmal durch und fand den fatalen Fehler rechtzeitig.

einrechnen
Die Autofahrt hat länger gedauert als wir gedacht hatten, weil wir die Pinkelpausen nicht eingerechnet hatten.

errechnen
Leutnant Sulu hat den Kurs nach Vega 5 errechnet, aber es kam anders als er sich errechnet hatte. Unterwegs fand er heraus, dass Tetryon-Teilchen sich im Orionnebel befanden, deren Auswirkung auf die Enterprise sich nur aus vulkanischem Kalkül errechnet.

hochrechnen
Wenn ich meine bisherigen Geldausgaben hochrechne, bin ich am Ende des Monats pleite.

mitrechnen
Mein Kollege hat den Wert mit mir mitgerechnet und wir haben unterschiedliche Ergebnisse bekommen. Grund dafür war, ich habe die Jacobi-Determinante nicht mitgerechnet.

nachrechnen
Ich weiß nicht, ob ich mir das leisten kann. Ich muss mal nachrechnen.

verrechnen
Ich dachte, dass ich gut mit Geld umgehen kann, aber darin habe mich verrechnet. Ich wollte mein Guthaben ausrechnen, aber ich habe nur das Haben addiert und vergessen, das Soll mit zu verrechnen. Deshalb habe ich mich um 2.000 Euro verrechnet. Wenn mein Scheck verrechnet wird, wird mein Konto um 300 Euro überzogen werden.

aoind
aoind

Those were great!

niamh
niamh

aber es kam anders als er sich errechnet hatte – why is the reflexive pronoun used here – why not, aber es kam anders alks er errechnet hatte??
Niamh

Adya
Adya

Warum hibt es kein PDF mehr?

berlingrabers
berlingrabers

“I reckon” shows up on both sides of the Atlantic. It’d definitely sound Southern and/or rural in the U.S.; I have the vague sense that it would sound rural in the U.K. too, but I’ll defer to the Brits to weigh in on that.

For the sake of completeness, “convert” in the religious sense would be “bekehren.”

Interesting that you consider any actual computer, desktop or laptop, to be a “Rechner.” I’ve definitely had at least one conversation with a native speaker – might have been a German tutor – who thought that “Rechner” really only worked for a desktop and that you’d want to use “der Computer” for a laptop.

aoind
aoind

I can think of all sorts of uses for “reckon” but because it has a sense of rough and ready estimation, or plain gut instinct, it is probably more for pub talk than boardroom talk. It also depends on which proposition (or none) you use it with. “Reckon with” is a way more respectable phrasing than “reckon on” or just plain “reckon”. I remember the word being used commonly by teenagers (and pronounced “reck-ON” or “chinny reckon” while stroking one’s chin) as a way of saying “you are lying”.

aoind
aoind

PrEposition…

berlingrabers
berlingrabers

“Reckon with” definitely isn’t colloquial. To me, it sounds a bit more serious/less everyday than “mit etw. rechnen,” on the level of “take into account.”

Arafel
Arafel

Noch wieder ein toller Artikel, Danke! Zu der “-rechnen”-Familie hätte ich nur eine Frage: Ich habe auch ab und zu “hochrechnen” bzw. “Hochrechnung” gehört, und ich nehme es an, als “back-of-the-envelope calculation”.

Ich weiß aber nicht, wie oft dies eigentlich verwendet wird, denn die Deutschen sind für ihre Genauigkeit berühmt ;-) Ist es etwas, dass man normalerweise sagt, oder klingt es eher abwertend (etwa zweitklassige Berechnung)?

Michael
Michael

Perfect und auch sehr brauchbar wie immer! Vielen Dank.

Kayla-P
Kayla-P

So, how do you ask for your bill at the bar, if not “die Rechnung, bitte”?

I’m from the southern US and “reckon” is quite common, especially in rural areas.
“You reckon he gon’ meet us at the Waffle House?”
“I reckon I’ll go to Wal-Mart this afternoon.”

(The more I type or say “reckon” the more absurd it seems.}

Abgasstufe Es-Zett
Abgasstufe Es-Zett

Get zounge tied when you do German speak?
If this are you, might be then best, einfach I reckon,
Just with hand 2 fingers laut to do schnappen,
um das Fräulein to you also beckon!
Oder on the beerglas mit spoon to it knocken.
Danke, please pretty, Herr Ober zwei times for me again more Osterbocken.

Yes, I reckon ya’ll may say that might seem rude and absurd.
But, with one single gesture you quickly will learn the most latest no-go words!!

And don’t leave a tip on the table, give it at cash out time directly to the server who takes your dough.

———————————————————————————-
Thema : (mit vielem Dank an Kayla-P – von ihr begeistert kam diese Idee)
Die 12 Jünger mit Ehrgeiz und Hunger!
oder – Der Gastmahlhall Putsch!

Zuerst Anhang Intro
Vo-cabo und carbo :
Ich bin so satt i mag kein Blatt! von ”Tischlein deck dich!”
das Beißl – greasy spoon, a Dew Drop Inn – cheap diner (umgs. aust.}
der Steckerlfisch – grilled fish on a skewer
die Sperrstunde – closing time
der Gockel – rooster
das Gesäß – hiney-booty
die Jünger – the fab 12 Hipsters und Merry Tricksters aka The Twelve disciples
janz – ganz -Berliner umgs.
die Zeche – the max party down HARDY party!

Eines Abends einmal
gemeinsam saß,
im Wirtshaus zum Himmelreich,
Ein Verein von 13 Hipsters am langen Tisch,
und ohne weiters sich Blatt-satt fraß,
mit Weißwein, Brot und Steckerlfisch,
heute abend frischgefangen aus dem Teich!

Ein altes Beißl , die Möbel schlicht.
Nur, ohne Sandalen darf man hier, betreten nicht!
Der Stuhl janz jemütlich dem Gesäß.
Auf die Pizza Hawaii,kommt kein’ Ananas!

Ein Festmahlabend die Stimmung zuerst herrlich,
Leider 2 Hipsters, Typs nicht janz ehrlich!
Hipster J…. und Hipster P… beide taten schon was Böses
hinterhältig, sogar,- mit Absicht
und lassen ihren Hipstermeister-lehrer,
total verraten und ausgerechnet komplett im Stich!
Frau Wirtin kommt und will bald nach Haus.
“Ist gleich Sperrstunde – bitte, kassieren wir nun aus!”

Der Hipsterleiter von der Zeche janz alleine fort geht,
ohne die Gang und ohne Gesang.
Weit aus der ferne, der Unglücks Gockel shrill kräht.
Und H. Leiter-Lehrer muß bald weiter leider,
bei uns und für uns – ALLEN,
die ”Sünd” teuere Rechnung,
von unserer Lebenszeche
ganz alleine selbst bezahlen !
—————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Also, alle brave Sprachkinder!
und Deutsch-Denglish-Dichters und Denkers!
Das daoben war’s janz traurig nicht?
Bei mir ist aber die Narrenzeit nie vorbei!
Have you got the weekend –
“No Manny Manny, No new Manny Manny, newsletter Manny blues”?

Mit null und eines werden wir die Stimmung schönrechnen schnell hoch!
The Pop Tops 1971 O Mammy Blues
Mit Google zu finden.

Und unten :
Geh’ ma ‘schwind au ins Himmel Beißl!
So liebe Kinder
Seid Bereit!
Unten ihre Hausarbeit!
Einfach die Sendung 3o min. zugucken.
Und wenn’s sie wollen ein Gläsl dabei runter schlucken!

Meine Damen und Herrn und brave Kinder,
Ich bitte sie um Ihre Aufmerksamkeit!
Hier sofort: Die Hipster- Meister und Trickster!!!
Mit Narren Kostüme und Karneval Gesichter!

TV Gestaltung von Leo d’Vee.

Der ruhmreicher Mahler mit Freundin Lisa-Moni,
die zwei auch oft in Taverna beim kühlen Bier und Schinken-roni!

https://www.zdf.de/comedy/sketch-history/sketch-history-vom-13-april-2018-100.html

9.3.19 Abgaßwerke und Einhorn Abdeckerei und Klebstoffkombinat LPG

Elsa
Elsa

Hiya,
Only one little typo “We have calculate who has to pay how much for the party” (you forgot the “to” in “to calculate”). Oh, and lifetime is just the one word.
We do reckon in Britain as well… or maybe we started reckoning after watching lots of American TV…
Thank you again to your lovely unpaid assistant, I’ve just found out she’s also added quizzes to some of the old articles, like the ones in the online course series :)))) That is soooo useful, particularly in suuch an important series!! (BTW, I’ve dropped you an e-mail about one of these quizzes because there’s a question that’s doing my head in (BE for getting really stressed and confused) and will probably trigger an existential crisis if not answered! Could you plz read it, when you have some spare time? That would be greatly appreciated!)
And I can’t believe people in your FB group didn’t want articles on relative pronouns, I’m not on FB, so I can’t join your group, but I do want that series really bad, I reckon it would be really useful ;)
Bis bald!

Macah
Macah

Is annehmen similar to davon auszugehen? So far I would’ve said, ich gehe davon aus, dass du ein Bier trinken willst. Is that incorrect?
Beste Grüße

Basam
Basam

Thank you Emanuel for giving me a 12 month Scholarship

Armin
Armin

Hello everyone I’m armin from iran and i can get the account for a year from people who helped persons like me that can’t buy account i just appreciate to Emmanuel and say thanks my dude❤️

Rihab
Rihab

Danke schon :)

Ein Typ
Ein Typ

The scientists have calculated (lit.: “found through calculating“) that in 2067 more unicorns living on the moon than people.
=
The scientists have calculated that in 2067 more unicorns will live on the moon than people.
oder noch besser finde ich…
The scientists have calculated that in 2067 more unicorns than people will live on the moon.

Jotty German