German prefix verbs: the complete guide

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “ab”

Here are examples of German phrases containing separable verbs with the particle “ab”:

abhängen (to depend on)

« Sprachkompetenz hängt vom Wortschatz ab. »
(“Fluency depends on vocabulary.”)

ablehnen (to decline)

« Sie lehnte die Einladung ab. »
(“She declined the invitation.”)

absagen (to cancel)

« Er sagt die Reise ab. »
(“He cancels the trip.”)

Here is a list of the most common separable German verbs with the particle “ab”:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "ab"
German
prefix
verb
translation
ablehnen to decline, to reject
ablaufen to run out, to expire
abnehmen to take off, to remove
abgeben to give up
abhängen to depend
abbrechen to break off
abwarten to wait for
ablegen to take off, to pass an exam
abgehen to leave, to go off
absagen to decline, to cancel
abzeichnen to draw
abrunden to round off
abstürzen to crash, to fall
abstreiten to dispute, to contest
ablösen to remove, to dissolve
abholen to fetch, to pick up
abziehen to withdraw, to deduct
abschließen to close, to end
absetzen to set down
abschrecken to discourage, to intimidate
absteigen to get off, to descend from
abwenden to turn away
abfallen to fall off
abbrennen to burn down
abbauen to dismantle
abwechseln to change
absichern to safeguard, to secure
abheben to lift off
abschneiden to cut off
abraten to advise against, to discourage from
abweisen to reject, to dismiss
ablenken to divert, to distract
abfahren to go off, to leave
abrücken to depart, to move away
abliefern to deliver
abstoßen to repel
ablassen to drain, to release
abdecken to cover
abschweifen to digress, to stray
absinken to sink, to fall
abkühlen to cool off

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “an”

Here are examples of German phrases containing separable verbs with the particle “an”:

anbieten (to offer)

« Die Universität bietet mehrere Deutschkurse an. »
(“The university offers several German classes.”)

anziehen (to attract)

« Die Universität zieht gute Studenten an. »
(“The university attracts good students.”)

Here is a list of the most common separable German verbs with the particle “an”:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "an"
German
prefix
verb
translation
anbieten to offer
ankündigen to announce
anstehen to stand in line
ankommen to arrive, to approach
anfangen to begin, to start
annehmen to suppose, to accept
ansehen to look at
anziehen to put on
anhalten to stop
andauern to continue
anhören to listen to
anrufen to call on the phone
angehören to belong to
ansetzen to implement, to schedule
ansteigen to increase
angehen to concern, to start
anschauen to observe, to look at
ansprechen to address, to speak to
anfallen to attack
antreten to start, to begin
anschließen to join
anstarren to stare at
angeben to supply, to give
anmelden to sign up, to enroll
anzeigen to show
anstreben to seek
anlaufen to go
angreifen to attack
anfühlen to feel
anführen to lead
anlächeln to smile
anregen to encourage, to stimulate
anfordern to request, to ask
anblicken to look
anrücken to arrive, to move in
anbrechen to break, to commence
anordnen to order
anlegen to put on, to set up
anrichten to cause, to address
anreisen to travel, to arrive
antreiben to drive
anwenden to apply, to utilise
androhen to threaten
anzünden to burn, to set on fire
anschlagen to hit
anwachsen to grow, to increase
anspornen to encourage
andeuten to indicate, to hint
anstecken to put on, to infect
anmachen to turn on, to provoke
anlocken to attract
anschwellen to swell
anfahren to start driving
anklagen to complain, to accuse
anfeuern to burn, to cheer
anwidern to disgust
anschreiben to write
anheben to raise, to lift
angucken to watch, to look
anpassen to adapt

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “auf”

Below are examples of German phrases containing separable verbs with the particle “auf”:

auftreten (to occur, to appear, to perform)

« Sie treten in unterschiedlichen Formen auf. »
(“They appear in different forms.”)

aufgeben (to give up)

« Sie gaben dieses Projekt auf. »
(“They gave up this project.”)

aufhören (to stop)

« Alle hörten auf, Spaß zu haben. »
(“Everyone stopped having fun.”)

Below is a list of the most common separable German verbs with the particle “auf”:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "auf"
German
prefix
verb
translation
auftreten to occur
aufgeben to give up
aufnehmen to take up
auftauchen up to come up, to surface
aufgehen to go up
aufhören to stop
aufkommen to come up, to arise
aufbauen to build
aufweisen to have, to feature
aufsteigen to rise, to ascend
aufrufen to call
auffallen to fall, to stand out
aufwachsen to grow up
aufstehen to stand up
aufatmen to take a deep breath
auftun to open up
auflösen to dissolve, to break up
aufholen to take up, to catch up up
auflegen to put up, to hang up
aufwerfen to raise
aufwachen to wake up
aufspringen to jump up
aufspielen to play
aufrichten to put up, to erect
aufstellen to establish, to set up
aufregen to excite, to stir up
aufschlagen to break open
aufklären to clarify, to explain
aufheben to lift up
aufmachen to open, to undo
aufhalten to stop
aufdrehen to turn on, to unscrew
aufbrechen to break open
aufrüsten to rise, to upgrade
aufräumen to tidy up
aufzeigen to point out, to show
aufziehen to raise, to pull open
auffliegen to fly up
aufleuchten to light up
aufsetzen to put on, to stand up
auflockern to loosen up, to relax
aufschreiben to write up, to write down
aufschreien to scream out
aufblühen to flourish
aufgreifen to catch, to seize
aufzeichnen to draw up, to record
aufreißen to tear open
aufstöhnen to groan
auffordern to call upon, to request
auflisten to list
aufwecken to wake up

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “aus”

aussehen (to look, to seem)

« Du siehst gut aus heute Abend. »
(“You look nice this evening.”)

auslösen (to trigger)

« Das löst widersprüchliche Gefühle aus. »
(“This triggers contradictory feelings.”)

ausbleiben (to remain)

« Der Erfolg blieb zunächst aus. »
(“Success remained at first.”)

Below is a list of the most common separable German verbs with the particle “aus”:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "aus"
German
prefix
verb
translation
aussehen to look, to seem
ausbleiben to stay out, to not come
ausgehen to go out
ausfallen to fail, to be canceled
ausstehen to stand, to endure
ausreichen to suffice
auslösen to trigger
ausmachen to turn off, to put out
auslaufen to expire
auszeichnen to distinguish, to characterise
auszahlen to pay off
ausschließen to exclude
ausbrechen to break out
ausbrennen to burn out
auswählen to select, to choose
aussteigen to get out, to exit
ausscheiden to eliminate
ausbreiten to spread
ausbilden to educate, to form
ausstellen to exhibit, to put out
aussterben to become extinct
auskennen to know a lot about
ausfüllen to fill out
ausschauen to look out
ausstrahlen to radiate, to emanate
aussagen to state, to say
aussprechen to pronounce, to express
ausgeben to spend
auskommen to get along with
ausziehen to pull out
ausnutzen to exploit, to make use of
aushalten to endure, to withstand
ausdrücken to express
ausweichen to avoid, to get out of the way
ausfahren to drive out
austauschen to exchange
auswirken to affect, to have an effect on
ausbauen to extend, to build out
ausrufen to exclaim, to call tout
auspacken to unpack
ausweiten to extend, to expand
ausgleichen to equalise, to balance
aussetzen to expose, or to interrupt
ausrücken to depart, to march out
auswerten to evaluate
ausrichten to align, to rectify
ausholen to take out, to draw back
ausüben to exercise, to practise
austreten to come out, to leave
ausspucken to put out, to disclose
ausschlagen to knock out
austrocknen to dry out
ausführen to take out, to carry out
auslassen to leave out
austeilen to distribute, to hand out
auslachen to laugh at
ausweisen to expel, to show
aushelfen to help out

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “ein”

eintreten (to enter, to occur)

« Er trat in die Sprachschule ein. »
(“He entered the language school.”)

einladen (to invite)

« Wir laden Sie herzlich zur Einweihungsfeier ein. »
(“We invite you to the inauguration ceremony.”)

einstellen (to hire, to take on)

« Die Sprachschule stellt einen neuen Lehrer ein. »
(“The language school hires a new instructor.”)

The most frequently used German separable verbs with the particle “ein” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "ein"
German
prefix
verb
translation
einsetzen to insert, to put in
einladen to invite
einlegen to insert
einstellen to hire, to take on
eintreten to enter
einräumen to put away, to admit
einbüßen to lose
einziehen to pull in, to collect
eintreffen to arrive
einbrechen to break in
einleiten to launch, to conduct
einrichten to set up, to establish
einsteigen to go up
einnehmen to take
einfallen to occur, to invade
eingeben to hand in, to input
einbringen to bring in
einschalten the switch on, to call in
einspringen to step in, to jump in
einstürzen to collapse
einfahren to drive into, to bring in
einschließen to include
einschlafen to fall asleep
einholen to catch up with
einschlagen to break, to smash
einkehren to come
eintragen to endorse, to register
eingreifen to intervene
einschätzen to assess, to appraise
einlenken to back down, to yield
einwilligen to agree to
einkaufen to buy
einführen to introduce
einmischen to interfere
eingestehen to acknowledge, to admit
einstimmen to join in, to agree
einatmen to inhale
einprägen to imprint, to impress
einleuchten to illuminate, to make evident
einreichen to file, to submit
einschränken to restrict
einstecken to pocket, or to suffer
einknicken to give way, to cave in
einhüllen to wrap up, to cover
einsammeln to collect

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “vor”

vorliegen (to be there, to be available)

« Die Prüfungsergebnisse liegen noch nicht vor. »
(“The exam results are not yet available.”)

vorstellen (to present)

« Der Professor stellt das Projekt vor. »
(“The professor is presenting the project.”)

vorbereiten (to prepare)

« Der Lehrer bereitet die Prüfung vor. »
(“The instructor is preparing the exam.”)

vorgeben (to pretend, to claim)

« Er gibt vor, Deutsch zu sprechen. »
(“He pretends to speak German.”)

The most frequently used separable German verbs with the particle “vor” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "vor"
German
prefix
verb
translation
vorliegen to be present
vorstellen to put forward, to represent
vorkommen to occur
vorgehen to go ahead, to proceed
vorsehen to plan, to provide
vorwerfen to accuse, to reproach
vorschlagen to propose, to suggest
vorlegen to present
vorrücken to move forward
vorschreiben to prescribe, to specify
vorbereiten to prepare
vorherrschen to dominate, to predominate
vorfahren to drive forward
vorgeben to pretend, to claim
vorfinden to find
vorlesen to read out loud
vormachen to deceive
vornehmen to make, to undertake
vorziehen to favor, to prefer
vorhaben to intend
vorbeugen to prevent
vorführen to demonstrate, to show
vorbehalten to reserve
vortragen to present, to report on
vorhalten to hold in front, to last

German separable prefix verbs with the particle “zu”

zuhören (to listen to)

« Er hörte dem Professor zu. »
(“He listened to the professor.”)

The most common German separable verbs with the particle “zu” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "zu"
German prefix verb translation
zulegen to add to
zunehmen to increase
zustimmen to agree
zugehen to shut
zuhören to listen
zutreffen to apply to
zukommen to come up to
zusagen to promise
zustehen to be entitled
zuschauen to watch
zuschlagen to hit
zulassen to allow
zusehen to watch, to look
zuziehen to move in, to draw shut
zuspitzen to sharpen, to aggravate
zugeben to throw in, to admit
zusichern to guarantee, to pledge
zumachen to close, to shut
zutrauen to thank them capable of
zunicken to nod
zusenden to send

More German separable prefix verbs with other particles

The most frequently used German separable verbs with the particle “mit” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "mit"
German prefix verb translation
mitteilen to share with
mitbringen to bring along
mitmachen to participate in, to take part in
mitspielen to play along
mitnehmen to take away, to take with
mitfahren to drive with
mitmischen to involve
mitkommen to come with
mithelfen to help
mitziehen to keep up
mitarbeiten to work together, to collaborate
mitgehen to come along

The most frequently used separable German verbs with the particle “um” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "um"
German prefix verb translation
umdrehen to turn around
umsehen to look around
umsetzen to implement
umziehen to move
umschlagen to turn
umschauen to look around for
umstellen to surround
umbauen to rebuild

The most commonly used separable German verbs with the particle “durch” are listed in the table below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "durch"
German prefix verb translation
durchführen to carry out
durchsetzen to go through, to prevail
durchkommen to pass, to come through
durchdrehen to turn through
durchhalten to hang on, to continue
durchgreifen to take action, to go through
durchschlagen to smash, to go through
durchziehen to pull through
durchgehen to go through
durchatmen to breathe deeply
durchfallen to fall through, to fail

The most commonly used separable German verbs with the particle “zusammen” are listed in the following table:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "zusammen"
German prefix verb translation
zusammenbrechen to break down
zusammenkommen to come together
zusammenarbeiten to work together
zusammengehören to belong together
zusammenhängen to connect, to relate
zusammenpassen to fit together
zusammenhalten to keep together
zusammenrücken to move together, to bunch together
zusammensetzen to assemble, to put together
zusammenziehen to shrink, to contract
zusammenleben to live together
zusammenzucken to wince, to recoil
zusammenstoßen to collide

The most common German separable verbs with the particle “nach” are listed below:

Table: list of the most common German prefix verbs with the particle "nach"
German prefix verb translation
nachgeben to give in, to yield, to give way
nachdenken to think, to ponder
nachlassen to subside, to ease off
nachgehen to follow
nachkommen to come after, to follow after
nachschauen to check, to look and see
nachfragen to inquire, to ask
nachlegen to put on more, to add more
nachholen to make up for, to catch up on
nachmachen to copy, to duplicate
nachsetzen to place after
nachlaufen to run after