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Dictionary > zu verbs

    Here's a quick overview with translations. For family, examples and more check the details.
  • betragen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to be
    (For amount or sums. People use it in writing or semi formal contexts when they feel that a simple "ist" sounds too "basic" (it doesn't).)
    Value:
    2.
    to comport oneself, to behave
    ("sich+Acc betragen" - very rare and pretty much only in books. "sich verhalten" is the more common word.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • dazugeben
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to add
    (Mostly in context of cooking, also "hinzugeben". The common colloquial choice, however, is ranmachen.)
    Value:
    2.
    to pitch in
    (Mostly in context of buying someone a gift as a group)
    Value:
    see details >
  • hinzufügen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to add
    (Sounds a bit formal and it's mostly used for non-tangible things like ideas or tags or something other "online")
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuarbeiten
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to assist someone, to do someone's groundwork
    ("jemandem+ Dat zuarbeiten" - The idea is that someone does all kinds of supporting work while someone else is the main project lead. Not commonly used for an actual assistant or secretary.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zubeißen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to bite
    (It's for the first "bite" and has an element of attack. Think of a dog barking and then biting.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zubekommen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to manage to close
    (Think of a very very full suitcase. More "high" cousin of "zukriegen".)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufbekommen
    see details >
  • zubereiten
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to make, to prepare
    (ONLY for food. Sounds a bit fancy and you find it a LOT in cook books.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zubinden
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to tie "closed"
    (Only for contexts where you close something by tying a knot. Best example are shoe laces. For wounds, "verbinden" is the word, even though the focus is closure.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zubringen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to spend
    (ONLY for time and time based things like "life" for example. Sounds old school. )
    Value:
    see details >
  • zudecken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to tuck sb in
    (used in context of sleeping)
    Value:
    2.
    to cover
    (the sense of completely cover something. Rarely used, but sounds good for snow covering a landscape for instance.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zudrehen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to close
    (For faucets, because originally they were turned. Often used figuratively for flow of money or gas and oil)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufdrehen
    2.
    to turn your face/body toward
    ("jemandem+Dat etwas+Acc zudrehen" - most commonly used for turning your back to someone, in the literal sense.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zudrücken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to press closed, to push shut
    (Literally closing something by pushing or holding it closed)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zufahren auf
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to drive (straight) toward something
    ("zufahren auf+Acc" - The "auf" must always be there.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zufallen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to fall shut
    (doors, windows, eyes - closing by themselves)
    Value:
    2.
    to fall to someone
    ("jemandem zufallen". Used for either responsibilities, tasks or talent.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zufrieren
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to freeze over
    (bodies of water)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zufügen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to deal, to do
    (ONLY in the sense of doing damage or harm. Sounds somewhat serious and is mainly used for people. The target is in Dative - "jemandem+Dat etwas zufügen".)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zugeben
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to admit
    ("admit" in the sense of admitting a fact. NOT admitting in the sense of "allowing to enter". For "adding something", "dazugeben" is the idiomatic choice.)
    Value:
    Opposite: abstreiten
    see details >
  • zugehen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to close by itself
    (With a "nicht" it basically means that something can't be closed. Past tends to be built with the preterite.)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufgehen
    2.
    to approach someone
    ("zugehen auf+Acc" - can be physical but it also works in the sense of compromise. Past is done with "spoken past".)
    Value:
    3.
    to go on, to be
    (In the sense of something going on somewhere. Usually used in combination with "es" for "things" and often with "wie" in the sense of "how" things are done. Past is usually preterite.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zugestehen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to concede something to someone
    ("jemandem etwas zugestehen" - not used in formal contexts, but also too "epic" sounding for daily life. Has a vibe of empathy.)
    Value:
    2.
    to acknowledge, to concede
    (Mostly used for some facts you kinda sorta would like to not be real.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zugreifen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to seize, to grab
    (The moment when you grab something. Usually, it implies a bit of force.)
    Value:
    2.
    to seize, to take
    (In the context of seizing an opportunity or take something that was offered.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zugucken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to watch, to look
    (While someone is doing something or something is happening. The focus is on observing here. NOT a good fit for watching a series.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuhaben
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to be closed
    (for stores and bars and so on, NOT for doors or purses)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufhaben
    see details >
  • zuhalten
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to hold shut
    (Mainly used for doors.)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufhalten
    2.
    to move straight toward
    ("zuhalten auf+Acc" - in the sense of driving or walking toward something or someone. MUST be used with "auf" as a preposition. )
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuhängen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to hang shut
    (Think of covering a window by hanging a bunch of blankets in front of it.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuhauen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to strike a blow
    (Only in the sense of actual punches.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuhören
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to listen
    (In the sense of paying attention to the content of you're listening to. You can "hören" a podcast without actually listening, for example. Quite common word in contexts of relationships. The "entity" you're listening is in Dative, no direct object here.)
    Value:
    Opposite: erzählen
    see details >
  • zujubeln
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to cheer at someone or something
    ("jemandem zujubeln" with Dative)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zukaufen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to buy "in addition"
    (Sounds formal. One area of use is for an investor adding more shares to a position they already have. Can also be used for buying components for your machine from external sources.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zukehren
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to turn something toward someone
    ("jemandem etwas zukehren" - ONLY in context of body parts, mainly back and front)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuklappen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to close
    (ONLY for books and magazines. NOT for doors or windows.)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufklappen
    see details >
  • zuknallen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to slam shut
    (For a door or a book. Implies a LOT of force. If you slam a door shut, spoken past is with "haben", if it slams shut by itself, spoken past is with "sein".)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zukommen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to belong to, to be due to, "to have"
    ("jemandem zukommen" - mainly used in the sense of someone having/getting a task, responsibility or praise. Pretty rare overall and not idiomatic many times.)
    Value:
    2.
    to come toward someone
    ("zukommen auf+Acc" - can be used in a local sense, but also figuratively for positions in a negotiation, for example. MUST be used with "auf".)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zukriegen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to get sth. to close
    (like your pants after Christmas)
    Value:
    Opposite: aufkriegen
    see details >
  • zulassen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    leave closed
    (As in "not opening".)
    Value:
    Opposite: auflassen
    2.
    allow, permit
    (Has a bit of a focus of "not preventing". Also used for conditions allowing a certain activity (or not).)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zulegen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to add, to increase
    (Mainly used for someone's performance. Sometimes also used for prices and people's weight.)
    Value:
    2.
    to get, to buy
    ("sich+Dat etwas zulegen" - colloquial term for purchasing something, for items that you "add" to your collection of things you own. Like a car, a coffee grinder or a set of dumbbells. Not idiomatic for food items or digital goods.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zumachen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to close
    (More common than "schließen", but it does NOT imply locking by key. Also, it does not work for stuff closing automatically. )
    Value:
    Opposite: aufmachen
    see details >
  • zumuten
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to impose
    ("jemandem etwas zumuten"... used in context of exposing someone to or burden someone with something unpleasant, discomfortable)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zunähen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to sew closed
    (Think of a surgeon closing a wound.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zunehmen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to increase and to go up
    (always done by the thing itself, you can NOT "zunehmen" something)
    Value:
    Opposite: abnehmen
    2.
    to gain weight
    (very common in daily life, especially in lock-down)
    Value:
    Opposite: abnehmen
    see details >
  • zuordnen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to allocate something to someone, to classify something as part of a group
    ("etwas (Acc) einer Sache (Dat) zuordnen" - the translations depend on context but the core idea is that you take an item (thing, being) and say "This belongs to this item/being/group". That can be for categorization as well as for assignments.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zupacken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to grab with force
    (The focus is on the moment of grabbing. Sounds very hands-on.)
    Value:
    2.
    to dig in, to knuckle down
    (Figurative use for the idea of tackling a task that has to be done and giving full strength. Think of helping your neighbor clearing out the garage.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuparken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to block by parking
    (Think of a car blocking your garage exit for instance.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuprosten
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to raise the glass toward someone
    ("jemandem zuprosten" - it's like a wink, only with a glass.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zureden
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to talk to someone, to persuade
    ("jemandem+Dat zureden" - a persistent talking with the goal of convincing the person. Mainly used in the phrase "gut zureden" in the context of encouragement.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zurennen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to run toward
    ("zurennen auf+Acc" - Always combined with "auf". Sounds very directed.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zurufen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to shout sth to someone
    ("jemandem+Dat etwas zurufen" - always needs both objects, direct and indirect.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zusagen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to confirm, to affirm, to promise
    (A slightly formal sounding verb for affirming a request of sorts. The person you say "Yes" to is the indirect object, the "thing" you promise can be the direct object, but that's rare. )
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuschauen
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to watch
    (In the sense of watching something happening or someone doing something. Works for watching a show but NOT really for watching TV (though you are called Zuschauer if you do it). Same meaning as "zugucken", but it sounds a bit more serious.)
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuschicken
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to send someone something
    ("jemandem+Dat etwas+Acc zuschicken" - only used in this structure. )
    Value:
    see details >
  • zuschieben
    (zu verb)
    1.
    to shove closed
    Value:
    Opposite: aufschieben
    2.
    to pass blame
    ("jemandem die Schuld zuschieben")
    Value:
    see details >


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