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Dictionary > er verbs

    Here's a quick overview with translations. For family, examples and more check the details.
  • (sich) ernähren (von)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to feed, to nurture, to nourish
    (ONLY for food. Not in figurative contexts)
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    2.
    to eat
    ("sich+Acc ernähren von" - Sounds a bit technical but still, it's fairly common in daily life, especially in context of special diets.)
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  • erahnen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to sense, to intuite
    (Fancy version of "ahnen". Sounds a bit more epic, but there's no real difference in meaning)
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  • erarbeiten
    (er verb)
    1.
    to work out
    (In the sense of working out a plan, for example, NOT a plan working out!)
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    2.
    to get through working
    ("sich+Dat etwas erarbeiten" - for instance a reputation or a mansion)
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  • erbauen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to build
    (Sounds epic and only fits for somewhat significant buildings.)
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  • erbeuten
    (er verb)
    1.
    to "obtain", to bag
    (In the sense of "obtaining" through hunt or robbery.)
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  • erblicken
    (er verb)
    1.
    to see, to lay eyes on
    (The verb is about the moment when you go from "not seeing" to "seeing". And it sounds epic. Think of a blind person seeing a tree for the first time after restorative surgery.)
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  • erbrechen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to throw up
    (If you want to add what you're throwing up, then use Accusative. For a general throwing up, "sich erbrechen" is the best choice. Sounds a bit formal overall. The colloquial term is "kotzen")
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  • erbringen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to yield, to bring forth, to render
    (Sounds VERY formal and you rarely hear it in daily life. It works for services as well as for proofs or payments.)
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  • erdrücken
    (er verb)
    1.
    to squeeze to death
    (Often used figuratively for smothering in a relationship.)
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  • erfahren
    (er verb)
    1.
    to experience
    (Not very commonly used in that sense. Usually you can find it in context of hostility or hospitality.)
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    2.
    to find out, to learn
    (Fairly common in context of single pieces of news that cross your path. )
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  • erfassen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to grasp
    (In the sense of understanding, comprehending, with a notion of "wrapping your mind around something". It's mainly used for big, complex things. )
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    2.
    to register, to capture, to gather
    (Same core idea as the first one, but this time in the context of data. Think of lists. Again, hard to use idiomatically if you don't already have a feel for it.)
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    3.
    to hit (and dragged)
    (For objects hitting and dragging something along. Think of a train hitting a car that's stuck on the tracks or a big wave hitting and sweeping away the beach chairs. Mainly used in passive, so the object being hit "wird erfasst" by the vehicle or wave.)
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  • erfinden
    (er verb)
    1.
    to invent
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  • erfolgen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to happen, to take place, to be done
    (Sounds formal and bureaucratic. Impersonal option to express that someone will do something under such and such conditions.)
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  • erfordern
    (er verb)
    1.
    to require
    (Usually used for "situational/circumstantial" requirements, and not so much for requirements written in a form.)
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  • erforschen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to investigate, research
    (sounds very scientific and thorough. Implies a result (unlike "forschen" which is about the process))
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    see details >
  • erfragen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to get through asking
    (Basically asking with a focus on getting the result. )
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  • erfrieren
    (er verb)
    1.
    to freeze to death
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  • erfrischen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to refresh, to get refreshed
    (ONLY in the sense of people refreshing themselves. Mostly used with a self reference "sich+Acc erfrischen". NOT for refreshing web pages or knowledge. )
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  • erfüllen
    (er verb)
    1.
    fulfill
    (wishes)
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    Opposite: wünschen
    2.
    to meet
    (in combination with expectations or requirements)
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  • ergänzen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to add, to complement, to supplement
    (Sometimes also used as a speech tag in books, if someone gives some additional information or opinions)
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  • ergattern
    (er verb)
    1.
    to snag, to manage to get
    (Colloquial term for getting something rare and desired. Think of a limited edition of something where lots of people cue up and you get one. The original idea probably comes from managing to trap an animal in a fenced area.)
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  • ergeben
    (er verb)
    1.
    to yield, to result in, to make
    (Mainly used on context of equations, but you might see it more figuratively, too, especially for "making sense".)
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    2.
    to surrender
    ("sich+Acc (jemandem) ergeben" - you "yield" yourself, in a way.)
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    3.
    to present itself
    ("sich ergeben", the translations vary but the idea is a coincidence/chance/situation "yielding/offering" itself.)
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  • ergehen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to get through going
    (That's the very literal meaning, but it's quite rare. You could use it in the context of a walking competition or getting a shredded body through walking. )
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    2.
    to be for someone, to turn out for someone
    ("jemandem ergehen" - Someone poetic word for the idea of how someone was/is/will be faring. Think of meeting someone after 6 months. It's only used in books though and sounds old school. And it's hard to use anyway. )
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    3.
    to be passed, to be issued
    (For laws and certain orders. Sounds VERY formal and you do not hear this word in daily life. The law or regulation is the subject.)
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    4.
    to indulge in, to get lost on
    ("sich+Acc ergehen in+Acc" - ONLY for figurative contexts like indulging in platitudes or dreams. Very rare. I never hear it in daily life, except a couple of fixed phrasings.)
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    5.
    to endure something, to submit to something
    ("etwas über sich+Acc ergehen lassen" - literally to let something "go over" you. Think of a thorough pet down at the airport for example. This phrasing is fairly common in daily life. )
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  • ergießen (sich)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to pour into
    (ONLY used for liquids pouring themselves somewhere, so it's pretty much always used reflexively. And it sounds a bit epic, so you'd use it for bigger streams. Not for a little trickle. It does work for figurative streams.)
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  • ergreifen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to grab to seize
    (For objects it sounds a bit epic. More common for seizing chances, initiative or opportunities. And fugitives.)
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    2.
    to take
    (For taking measures ("Maßnahmen"). Fixed combo, pretty much.)
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  • ergründen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to fathom, to get to the bottom of
    (Sounds pensive and somewhat grand. Think of someone trying to think their way to the meaning of life.)
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  • erhalten
    (er verb)
    1.
    receive, get
    (In the sense of "being given". Sounds a bit stiff. )
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    2.
    to maintain, to preserve
    (Usually in the context of preventing decay or destruction. Works for a natural habitat, a historic building, but also for friendship and energy in the universe.)
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    see details >
  • erheben
    (er verb)
    1.
    to stand up, to rise up
    ("sich+Acc erheben" - sounds a bit pompous. Works for standing up from a chair but also in a figurative sense of rising up against oppression.)
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    2.
    to raise, to press
    (In the context of raising objections or concerns. Sounds very formal, but you will hear it in court speech for example. Also used for pressing charges.)
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    3.
    to gather, to collect
    (For "raising" data. Think of a large scale opinion poll for example.)
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    see details >
  • erhellen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to brighten, to illuminate, to light
    (A slightly poetic sounding verb for lighting a room. Think of a candle for example.)
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    2.
    to illuminate, to make brighter
    (In the figurative sense of illuminating the mind.)
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    see details >
  • erhitzen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to heat up
    (Quite common in the kitchen, but it sounds a bit technical and if you're talking about heating up a dish from yesterday, "warm machen" is the more idiomatic choice.)
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    see details >
  • erhoffen (von)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to hope, to expect, to "hopespect"
    ("sich+Dat erhoffen von" - A mix between a wish, hope and expectation. MUST be used with the self reference. The wish/expecation is the direct object.)
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  • erhöhen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to increase something
    (in the sense of someone doing it, you need subject AND object, so either "Ich erhöhe etwas" or "etwas erhöht sich")
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  • erholen (sich)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to recover, to convalesce, to relax
    (The general idea is getting back to shape. Works for people, but also for things. The self reference is in Accusative and MUST be there.)
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  • erhören
    (er verb)
    1.
    to hear (and answer)
    (ONLY in the epic context of God hearing your prayers or a ruler of old hearing the plea of a peasant.)
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    2.
    to get through listening
    (Technically, the verb can mean that you "get" something through listening. It's rarely used, but you could technically "erhören yourself" the German language, if you learn it through podcasts, for example. )
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  • erinnern an (+Acc)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to remind
    (The person you remind is the direct object)
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    Opposite: vergessen
    2.
    to remember
    ("sich+Acc erinnern" - you basically "remind yourself")
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  • erkalten
    (er verb)
    1.
    to get cold, to cool out
    (For objects losing their heat. Sounds a bit epic)
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  • erkämpfen
    (er verb)
    1.
    get through fighting
    (Sounds epic.)
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  • erkaufen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to buy, to get
    (The idea is not actually buying something for money but getting something by paying a price. Think of a compromise that "buys time" for example.)
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  • erkennen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to recognize, to realize
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  • erklären
    (er verb)
    1.
    to explain
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  • erklimmen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to climb
    (An epic option for fully climbing a mountain. Can also be used for figurative peaks, but it's always epic. This is a close cousin to "to climb", family-wise.)
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  • erkranken (an)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to contract a disease, to get sick with
    ("erkranken an+Dativ")
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  • erkunden
    (er verb)
    1.
    to explore the unknown
    (has an epic, grand scale)
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  • erkundigen (sich)
    (er verb)
    1.
    to ask, to inquire
    (In context of asking people you don't really know for some piece of information. Sounds formal and is not used among friends.)
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  • erlangen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to attain, to achieve
    (Implies a long process. Mainly for non-tangible stuff like positions, status, reputation and so on. )
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  • erlassen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to waive
    (for fees, debt or jail time)
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    2.
    to pass
    (for laws or regulations)
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  • erlauben
    (er verb)
    1.
    to allow, to permit
    ("jemandem+Dat etwas+Acc erlauben")
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    Opposite: verbieten
    2.
    to take the liberty
    ("sich+Dat etwas erlauben")
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    see details >
  • erlaufen
    (er verb)
    1.
    to get through walking or running
    ("sich+Dat etwas erlaufen" - Can be world fame as an elite runner, or a city that you get to know by walking through it. The self reference is a must.)
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  • erläutern
    (er verb)
    1.
    to explain, to clarify
    (pretty similar to "erklären", a little more "wordy" maybe)
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    see details >
  • erleben
    (er verb)
    1.
    to experience
    (This verb has a focus on really living something.)
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