Advent Calendar 19 – Prefix To Hold



Hallo Leute,

welcome back to our Advent Calendar, door number ___ . And today it’s once again your turn.
Yup, we’ll do another exercise. And this time, it is again about vocabulary, specifically … prefix verbs.
Yeah, I know your chest wants to burst with excitement. Go ahead, do it! Whether you’re in your car, in the office or in an elevator. Scream it like you’re on an open field.
We’ll do the same type of work out that we did a few days ago with gehen, but this time we’ll use the base verb


If you haven’t done the first one, here’s the idea:

I’ll give you ten sentences in English and you have to find which prefix version of halten is needed for each of them.
Of course, if you feel like it, you can also try and translate them, but the main point is finding the right verb in German.

Some of them are pretty easy, but there are a few in there that you probably never heard of.
So to make it a little bit less frustrati ..    even more more fun, I’ll give you a list of the verbs that are used in this work out below the work out.
But try to do it on your own first, please.
Solutions are in the audio or just mark the yellow to see them.
Viel Spaß.
Oh, by the way, the whole work out is Christmas themed ;)


  1. The reindeer stops the sledge.
    Das Rentier hält den Schlitten an.
  2. The reindeer sticks to the rules.
    Das Rentier hält die Regeln ein.
  3. The reindeer holds the door open for me. (thanks, bro!)
    Das Rentier hält mir die Tür auf. (“für mich” is also okay)
  4. The reindeer prevents/keeps me from working.
    Das Rentier hält mich vom Arbeiten ab.

  5. If it wants to be on time, the reindeer has to hurry.
    Wenn es pünktlich sein will, muss sich das Rentier ranhalten.


  6. The reindeer is heckling at the comedy show because it couldn’t take/stand the bad jokes anymore.
    Das Rentier ruft bei der Comedy-Show dazwischen weil es die schlechten Witze nicht mehr ausgehalten hat.
  7. When Santa Clause and his elves are fighting, the reindeer stays out of it.
    Wenn der Weihnachtsmann mit seinen Elfen streitet, hält sich das Rentier raus.

  8. The reindeer holds his nose, because Santa is smoking pipe again.
    Das Rentier hält sich die Nase zu, weil Santa wieder Pfeife raucht.
  9. The reindeer talks the whole evening about Gender studies with the elves.
    Das Rentier unterhält sich den ganzen Abend mit den Elfen über Gender-Studies.
  10. When partying, the reindeer drinks very fast. It is hard to keep up.
    Wenn es feiert, trinkt das Rentier sehr schnell. Es ist schwer, mitzuhalten.

verbs used (some are used twice):

aufhalten, zuhalten, sich ranhalten, mithalten,
sich raushalten, aushalten, anhalten, abhalten

And, how’d you do? How many did you know? And do you know other prefix versions of halten? Let me know in the comments and if you dare, you can even make an example.
Schönen Tag euch und bis morgen.

for members :)

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Used “preposition logic” to figure out the prefix. Failed miserably.


“an” is the preposition used from the side, so ANhalten would be used in #2, Das Rentier hält die Regeln AN. WRONG! ein.

#5 – RANhalten? Seriously? Was I supposed to just pull RANhalten out of my a**, I mean HAT? And if I had peeked at the list of haltens first, I would have NOT chosen RANhalten because it SOUNDS like he has to hurry (RAN = run) but it’s German so I wouldn’t expect it to work that way.

Got most of the translations ok – *cept for #6: heckling is “bei der Comedy Show dazwischen rufen”. Yeah. Right. DID get the right halten, though – couldn’t stand it (hold out, aushalten or Swedish, stå ut – aushalten – out = aus)

#9 was a real exercise in Satzbau. Used “Geschlechterstudien” statt “Gender Studies” though. AND… one of the few I got the correct version of -halten.


Another prefix version of “halten” is BEIHALTEN. Means to back someone, be on their side. Know that one because it was on the list of dative verbs that we had at end of term.


Could #1 or #4 be ”AUFhalten”?


Emanuel, do you by any chance have an article on the word halten? Coz I didn’t know about half of these prefixes, so maybe I could put a post on this on my wish list… BTW, door number 15? You’re seriously in need of a holiday!!!


ELSA: Have a think about my offer to get in touch regarding your visit to Lund. Would love to meet up with you – any friend of Emanuel’s is a friend of mine! But that’s up to you. I can give you a list of stuff to do/see if you want to go it on your own. No problem. Just don’t wanna clog up his comment section with Skåne-info when we’re here to do Deutsch.

If so, lemme know and I’ll send my contact info to Emanuel AFTER the Advent Calendar – he’s got enough to do with that – doesn’t need to be acting as a go-between until after the new year. Can also prepare you for how to get here (assuming you are traveling from the airport Copenhagen).

Am having so much fun with Onleihe! So much reading available – amazing stuff! Thanks again for the tip!


Hiya, I’d love to meet up with you :) I was actually going to suggest exactly the same, I don’t really want to put my contact info on a public page, but I’d already thought of asking you what you thought of asking Emanuel to give our contact details to each other so we could plan to meet!
I’ve already been to Sweden, so it’s not true that no one ever goes there ;)
I went to Stockholm in May 2017 and kinda fell in love with all things Scandinavian! I went to Norway in March this year and in May 2019 I’m going to Copenhagen. But I didn’t want to miss the chance to visit Sweden again and to cross the Oresund bridge, so I booked a bus to go to Malmö. I agree that we should let Emanuel have a well deserved rest after the Advent, but definitely looking forward to meeting next year :)))))


Just read my own comment and realised I got the date wrong! It’s March I’m going to Copenhagen, not May. My trip to Malmö is booked for the 27th!


Great – will mail Ema and he’ll mail you and the rest will become History! Der Rest wird Geschichte!



#6 – Why “ausgehalten HAT”

and not

“ausgehalten KONNTE”?

My gut says: “He COULDN’T take the bad jokes” is a KONNTE, not a HAT. A HAT would be that he DIDN’T take (aushalten) the bad jokes, but KONNTE says he COULDN’T.

Where am I thinking incorrectly here, why do I want “konnte” and not “hat”?

Daniel Schultz
Daniel Schultz

You used “unterhalten” too, right?


Interesting exercise. I got most of them wrong, but I didn’t look at the verb list at the end, and I wasn’t even aware of some of the prefix versions (hello, sich ranhalten) .
Btw, there are two missing verbs on that list: sich unterhalten and einhalten.

On another note, for anyone interested in other expressions with halten and its family, there’s this Rammstein song with its lyrics pretty full of those:


I was going to recommend Haifisch by Rammstein as well. I found out later the lyrics are based on a song from Brecht’s Die Dreigroschenoper.

In #2, could one say “hält sich an die Regeln”? And in #10, could one also say “Schritt halten”?


War Santa ClausE im siebten Satz ein beabsichtigtes Wortspiel?

Philip St. John
Philip St. John

Vergiss nicht “erhalten”. Es ist meine Lieblingswort besonders zu dieser Jahreszeit.
Fröhliche Weihnachten an alle.
Ho ho ho!


Danke für die Übung, die ich brauchte, aber nicht wußte, dass ich sie brauchte! Hingegen fühle mich ein bisschen verwirrt: darf ich mal fragen, was der Unterschied zwischen ‘etw. aushalten’ und ‘etw. durchhalten’?


Ich habe das Verb “ist” am Ende des Satzes vergessen.