German Lessons

Topics

Verschwenden and Verschwinden

Every language has words that sound similar and are easy to mix up for non-native speakers, so this week we will look at the verbs verschwinden ("to disappear") and verschwenden ("to waste"). 

 

Wieso verschwinden sie?
Why are they disappearing?
Caption 8, Abgedreht: Heinrich und der Tassendieb

 

Ich mag es nicht, Lebensmittel zu verschwenden.
I do not like to waste food.
Caption 50, Werbung gegen Realität: Kunstprojekt Fertigprodukte

 

The past participles of the verbs are also important to memorize. The past participle of verschwinden is verschwunden, and the past tense uses the auxiliary verb sein rather than haben:

 

Heute sind sie nahezu verschwunden.
Today, they have almost disappeared.
Caption 22, Flipperautomaten: Kunstwerke für flinke Kugeln

 

Verschwendet, which is the past participle of verschwenden, requires the auxiliary verb haben. However, it is often also used as an adjective and there is also the noun die Verschwendung.

 

Diese Zeit des Suchens ist so eine Zeit, die ich verschwendet finde.
This time spent looking for things is a time that I find to be wasted.
Caption 18, Tapetenwechsel: Barbara Becker mag es aufgeräumt

 

„Welch eine Verschwendung von Gelb!", sagte Piggeldy.
"What a waste of yellow!" said Piggeldy.
Caption 36, Piggeldy und Frederick: Gelb

 

Further Learning

 

Create your own devices to make sure you don't confuse the words (For example, you can remember that verschwinden and "disappear" both have an "i" in them) or their past participles. And you can always look for additional examples on Yabla German.

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