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What is a separable verb and how is it formed?

In German some verbs are separable. This means that they are formed of two parts which can be separated. Some examples are:

ankommen (to arrive), ausgehen (to go out), einladen (to invite), abwaschen (to wash up)

(the separable part of the verb is in bold)

To form a sentence in the present tense, the first part of the separable verb (its 'particle') goes to the end of sentence. Here are some examples:

Ich wasche jeden Tag ab. (I wash up every day)

Wann gehst du aus? (When are you going out?)

Der Zug kommt in fünf Minuten an. (The train arrives in five minutes)

Note how the second part of the verb is conjugated as normal and the first part (particle) goes to the very end of the sentence.

George H. GCSE French tutor, GCSE German tutor, A Level Politics tutor

2 years ago

Answered by George, a GCSE German tutor with MyTutor


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