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Dictionary > vor verbs

    Here's a quick overview with translations. For family, examples and more check the details.
  • (her)vorgucken
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to peek out, to stick out
    (An object peeking out from a cover. Think of a unicorn trying to hide behind a bush, but the horn sticks out.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • (her)vorholen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to bring out, to take out
    (Take out something you had in your pockets (or personality). "hervorholen" is more probably a bit more common.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • hervorbringen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to give birth to, to beget, to bring into the world
    (NOT for actual giving birth. Think of a university creating several famous composers.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • hervorgehen (aus)
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to come from
    (in sense of emerging)
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    2.
    say, show
    (For texts and images. It's important to note that German is reversed here. The message "comes out from" the book or the image.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • hervorkommen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to come out from
    (In the sense of coming out from some sort of shelter or hiding. In every day German, "rauskommen" is much more common.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • hervorrufen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to cause
    (IN the sense of "making appear". "calling into the world". A good example are allergies.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorarbeiten
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to work in advance, to do preparative work
    (The focus can be on shifting work forward to have more time later, or on the preparation for the actual work)
    How useful: coming soon
    see details >
  • vorbereiten (auf)
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to prepare (for)
    ("auf"+ Acc. NOT used for preparing food. The word there is "zubereiten" or simply "machen" or "kochen". The main preposition is "auf" but you can also use "für" (see comments).)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachbereiten
    see details >
  • vorbestellen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to pre-order
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachbestellen
    see details >
  • vorbeugen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to bend forward
    ("sich+Acc vorbeugen" - the focus is on forward, not down. NOT for bending objects.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to guard against, to prevent something
    ("einer Sache(Dative) vorbeugen" - it means that you take measures to prevent that thing from happening or starting. Often used in context of health.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorbringen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to bring forth
    (ONLY for arguments or other information. Sounds quite formal.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vordrängeln (sich)
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to jump the queue/line, to skip the line at cash desk
    ("sich+Accusativ vordrängeln" - always reflexive. )
    How useful:
    Opposite: vorlassen
    see details >
  • vordrücken
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to push/squeeze forward
    (If you find a context for this, let me know. Cause I got nothin'.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorenthalten
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to withhold something from someone, to deny someone something
    ("jemandem (Dat) etwas (Acc) vorenthalten" - Only works with the complete structure, so you do need both objects here.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorfahren
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to drive up
    (Arriving with a car at a venue. Has a certain pomp to it. Think actors at a gala.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to drive ahead
    (Either just guiding the way or also earlier than the others.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorfallen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to happen, to occur
    (Only used for incidents that were caused by people. Not for natural disasters. Sounds a bit serious and formal. Not idiomatic in the negative in contexts like "must not happen again".)
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    2.
    to fall forward
    (Technically, it can mean that but "nach vorne fallen" is more idiomatic for this idea.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorfinden
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to find
    (In context of going to a location and something or someone being there. Sounds technical. Think of a police report.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorführen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to show, to present, to demonstrate
    (The first example that comes to my mind is a person presenting a new tech product, showing all it can do. For theater plays, the verb "spielen" is more common. )
    How useful:
    2.
    to lead forward, to lead to the front
    (Not common in this sense. "nach vorne führen" is the idiomatic choice here.)
    How useful:
    3.
    to make someone look like a fool, to show somebody up
    ("jemanden vorführen" - The idea is that you create a situation where you "showcase" someone's lack of knowledge or incompetence. )
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorgeben
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to predetermine, to specify
    (In the sense of someone setting some sort of frame or goal)
    How useful:
    2.
    to pretend
    (In the sense of make believe. Sounds a little bit formal/high register. The more colloquial version is "so tun als ob" and it's way more common. )
    How useful:
    3.
    to give forward
    (Very literally handing something forward from the rear. "nach vorne geben" is the more idiomatic choice, but technically, "vorgeben" means the same.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorgehen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to come first
    (In the sense of priorities. Sometimes also in a literal sense of going to the front, but "nach vorne gehen" is mroe idiomatic for that.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to go ahead, to walk ahead
    (Literally walking with a head start. Also for a watch being ahead. NOT used in the sense of continuing.)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachkommen
    3.
    to proceed, to take measures
    (Taking action in a planned manner to tackle a problem. Can be confrontational when combined with "gegen".)
    How useful:
    4.
    to go on in someone’s mind/soul
    ("in jemandem+Dat vorgehen" - fairly common.)
    How useful:
    5.
    to happen, to go on
    (Not very common and only idiomatic in a few contexts. Sounds a bit old school and a bit "mysterious" or "surprised". )
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorglühen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to pre-game, to pre-party
    (Having a few drinks before going to the actual main party event.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorhaben
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to plan, to intend, to be up to
    (very common verb)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorhalten
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to hold something in front
    (Think of holding a mirror front of you. Actually, that's kind of the only context in which you'll see this meaning.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to have in reserve, to have on stock
    (A formal, technical sounding verb for "having something ready to be used")
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    3.
    to last
    (Usually used in the context of a good meal "lasting" for a fair bit of time. Pretty rare otherwise. )
    How useful:
    4.
    to reproach someone for something
    ("jemandem etwas vorhalten" - this is the most common use out of all of them, but still, it's not very common. Sounds a bit more moderate than "vorwerfen".)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorheizen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to preheat
    (VERY common for "cooking" instructions on frozen pizza and so on.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorherrschen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to be dominant, to reign
    (Pretty much only used for circumstances or conditions. Think of the prevailing weather in a region, for example. NOT for people reigning other people.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorhören
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to pre-listen
    (Pretty much only useful in the context of audio production when you can check how a filter will sound.)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachhören
    see details >
  • vorkommen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to occur, to happen
    (For occasional incidences, NOT used in combination with a definite time)
    How useful:
    2.
    to seem
    ("jemandem+Dat vorkommen" - mostly used for things and situations, though it does work for people. The thing "comes before you" in a certain (possibly fake) way. For past tense, "written past/preterit" is more idiomatic.)
    How useful:
    3.
    to feel like
    ("sich+Dativ vorkommen" - essentially the same idea as before, but now you "seem to yourself". For past tense, the preterite is more idiomatic.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • hervorkriegen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to manage to get forward/to the front
    (ONLY in the literal sense of getting objects to the front or out from behind somewhere. "hervorkriegen" is more common, at least in writing, but "vorkriegen" might be used also.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorlassen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to let someone go ahead
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorlaufen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to walk forward, to walk to the front
    (In the sense of "to the front", "nach vorne laufen" is more idiomatic.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorleben
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to give an example through the way you life
    ("jemandem etwas vorleben" - think of parents who teach their kids to respect animals by ... respecting animals.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorlegen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to present, to put forth, to show
    (For all kinds of documents and plans. Also used in context of musicians putting out their new album, but to me, it sounds a bit too formal.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to take a good lead
    (Do something first, and now someone else has to catch up. Think of playing billiard, where someone has a really good first round.)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachziehen
    3.
    to lay in front
    (In the literal sense. Think of a towel in front of a fridge. Usually with a "da" in the sentence, or "davor-" as a prefix.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorlesen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to read out loud
    (also used in the sense of reading to your kids)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorliegen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to be available, to be on hand, to have
    (A formal word used only in the sense of having evidence or information. The person having it can be connected with Dative.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vormachen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to show
    (In the sense of doing something to show how it's done)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachmachen
    2.
    to deceive, to lead someone on
    ("jemandem etwas vormachen" - the idea is that you put on a show, but it's fake. Also used in the sense of deceiving oneself)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vormerken
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to bookmark, to earmark
    ("sich+Dat etwas vormerken" - making a mark or note of something because you expect to be needing it later. Think of a date for a festival for example. Pretty much always used reflexively.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vornehmen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to plan something, to set an intention
    ("sich+Dat etwas vornehmen" - refers to the moment of setting the plan, not the period of having it. Mostly used in context of personal plans, like changing routines or stuff like that. NOT for schemes.)
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    2.
    to do, to make
    (Quite rare and only in a few contexts like for example making corrections or tackling problems. Sounds super formal and no one uses it in daily life)
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    3.
    to tackle, to confront
    ("sich+Dat jemanden/etwas vornehmen" - can be used for tackling a task or topic or for confronting a person, often with an undertone of giving them a scolding.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorrechnen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to "show"-calculate
    ("jemandem etwas vorrechnen" - the idea is that you do a calculation for someone to watch and see that you're right. Also used figuratively in telling someone all their mistakes.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorrücken
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to move forward
    (for armies and other squats only. NOT used in sense of making progress.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorsagen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to promt
    (In the sense of telling someone the solution to a question they should answer themselves.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorschlafen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to sleep in advance
    (sleeping more than usual to make up for coming sleep deprivation)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorschlagen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to suggest, to propose
    (NOT for marriage proposals)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorschreiben
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to write in advance
    (Not very common)
    How useful:
    2.
    to tell someone what and how
    ("jemandem etwas vorschreiben" - sounds quite bossy)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorschweben
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to have a vision, to picture
    ("jemandem (Dative) schwebt etwas vor", - note that German has the roles backwards. So the idea is the subject and the person doing the imagining is the Dative object. Think of it as something hovering in front of your eyes.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorsehen (sich)
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to watch out, to be careful
    ("sich+Acc vorsehen" - must be reflexive. Sounds a bit high register and is not that common.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorsetzen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to (go) sit (further) to the front
    ("sich+Acc vorsetzen" - me personally, I find "sich nach vorne setzen" more idiomatic. Can also be used in board games for putting your play figurine forward.)
    How useful:
    Opposite: hintersetzen
    2.
    to put something in front of someone
    ("jemandem etwas vorsetzen" - usually used in the context of putting something "uncool" in front of someone. Like a disgusting dish or poor quality work.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorsingen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to sing to
    (Singing a song for someone. Think of kids at Christmas. NOT for concerts and NOT for karaoke.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorsorgen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to make provisions
    (to make some preparations for the future.)
    How useful:
    see details >
  • vorspielen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to fake something, to put on a facade
    ("jemandem etwas vorspielen" - you pretty much always have to include the person who is being lied to. It sounds a bit weird without it.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to play for someone
    ("jemandem etwas vorspielen" - can be life music as well as playing a record for someone.)
    How useful:
    Opposite: nachspielen
    see details >
  • vorsprechen
    (vor verb)
    1.
    to "show"-say
    (When you say something that you then want someone else to repeat.)
    How useful:
    2.
    to read for, to audition for
    (In the context of movie and theater, when you try to get a role or a place in the school.)
    How useful:
    see details >


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