Heh? Where is this verb coming from now? Did this word just really split into two words? And WHY is the other one going to the end now? German Separable Verbs are confusing. Don’t despair and learn how to use them correctly!

Erklärung: Deutsche trennbare Verben

Explanation: German Separable Verbs


What are Separable Verbs in the German language?

German uses separable prefixes to change the meaning of the main verb.

The prefix; for example mit-, ab-, ein-, zurück-, um-, auf- , an- and so on is going to the end of the sentence. The main verb stays at the second position.

For example: fahren – to drive

–> abfahren (to depart/ to leave)
Der Zug fährt 9 Uhr ab. – The train leaves at 9 o’clock.

–> zurückfahren (to drive back)
Wir fahren am Freitag zurück. – We will go/drive back on Friday.

–> mitfahren (to drive/ride with somebody)
Ich fahre bei meinem Bruder mit. – I ride with my brother.


Mehr Beispiele für Deutsche trennbare Verben

More Examples for German Separable Verbs


  • stehen (to stand), aufstehen ( to get up)
    Ich stehe hier. – I am standing here.
    –> Ich stehe um 9 Uhr auf. – I get up at 9 o’clock.


  • kaufen (to buy), einkaufen (to shop)
    Ich kaufe ein neues Auto. – I buy a new car.
    –> Ich muss heute noch einkaufen. – I still have to go shopping today.
    –> Ich kaufe Kleidung ein. – I am shopping clothes.


  • rufen (to call sb.), anrufen (to call sb. on the phone)
    Ich rufe meine Mama.- I call my mom.
    –> Ich rufe meine Mama an. – I am calling my mom on the phone.

Here you see the most common German separable Verbs. This picture was taken from my online course German Sentence Structure in 10 days.


English translation:

1. wake up & get up: I wake up at 5 o’ clock.
2. to arrive: We arrive at the train station tomorrow.
3. to start/ begin: The course starts next week.
4. to turn on/off: Can you please turn on the light?
5. to open/ to close: Please close the window!
6. to call (on the telephone): Please call me later!
7. to take off (or to move out)/ to put on (or to attract): Take your clothes off, little mouse (here for sweet woman)
8. to stop/ to quit: Next year I will stop smoking.
9. to shop/buy: The day after tomorrow she goes shopping.
10. to go in and out: The dog goes out by himself.
11. to bring around: Can you bring a doner kebab around for me?
12. to prepare: The student is preparing for the test.


That was my lesson about German Separable Verbs. I really hope that it helped you.  The next lesson will be about German Modal Verbs and how they change a sentence structure.

If you want to continue learning about German separable Verbs, check out my Video “In meiner Küche” – “In my kitchen” and get to know more! 

Danke und bis bald.