The short story of steigen


So, here goes our first “Deutsch tip of the day”. Today I would like to talk about “phrasal verbs” or as they are called in German “trennbare/untrennbare Verben”. We are all familiar with these kind of verbs in English, to give an example :
He turned on the radio, I turned it down. He turned it up, I turned it off.
The same verb with different prepositions has different meanings. This is a ‘separable’ form of “phrasal verb” (trennbare in German),, the other form of “phrasal verb” in English are the ones that the preposition and the main verb are used always together (untrennbare in German), for instance understand (under+stand).

So going back to our German tip, soon you will realize there are tons of “phrasal verbs” in German and many verbs share the main part (or the stem) and are different only in the preposition part. You need to know the meaning of each and the exact difference between them. I remember in A1.1 for the first time we encountered a phrasal verb. The verb was “einsteigen”, a lady stepped in a car…. I asked our teacher (Nikole) “Was bedeutet steigen” and she was trying to make me understand that the verb I need to know its meaning in that context is “einsteigen” and not “steigen”.
Yesterday Alex thought us some (I don’t think all) of the phrasal verbs made with “steigen”.
– aussteigen
– einsteigen
– umsteigen
– draufsteigen
– aufsteigen
– absteigen
– besteigen

As you can see at least there are 7 of them listed here. Although most of these are dealing with means of transportation (e.g. bus, train, horse and bike) but there are some that they have nothing to do with means of transportation. “Einsteigen” and “aussteigen” mean to get in and get out of a vehicle, respectively. But for instance “besteigen” means to climb to top of a mountain!

I am sure you all know how to use separable phrasal verbs in German, isn’t it? I am just asking… Ich frage an 😉

Exercise for Deutsch Akademie “GEEKS”: try to find different phrasal verbs that are made from the same stem but have distinct meanings.

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