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Prefix Verbs Explained – “einsetzen”

Hello everyone,

and after almost two years of hiatus, today it’s time for the triumphant return of everyone’s favorite series… Prefix Verbs Explained.


Are you excited?!
Me neither.
So let’s get this over with quick and take a look at the meaning of


The base verb setzen is the German brother of to set, and on occasion, the two verbs do line up.
But not often enough to call them translations.
In my opinion, it’s better to think of setzen as the third one of the three German translations for to put

The other two options are stellen, which is roughly “to make stand”, and  legen, which is roughly “to make lie”. And those two have the majority of the market share.
But for some instances of placing, neither of those really fit and German uses setzen instead. Or its prefix versions, of course.

Now I know your brain is now like “Need rule, must have rule. Give rule! When rule?”  but it’s hard to give one because a lot just comes down to what happened to be idiomatic in a given context.
However …