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Heiraten vs. Verheiraten

It's quite easy to make mistakes with German words that sound nearly the same but have different prefixes and thus different meanings. For example, some verbs using the root verb lassen (to let, to leave):


Der Witzleben ist doch vor zwei Jahren vom Führer entlassen worden.

Witzleben was let go by the Führer two years ago.

Caption 23, Die Stunde der Offiziere - Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944 - Part 13

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Sie verlassen den amerikanischen Sektor, Berliner Mauer

You are leaving the American Sector, Berlin Wall

Caption 1, 25 Jahre Mauerfall - Radtour durch die Geschichte

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The verb entlassen can mean "to be fired" or "to be let go," but it can also mean "to be released" as in released from prison. Depending upon its context, the verb verlassen can mean "to leave" or "to abandon."


But what about German words with different prefixes that can be translated as the same word in English? It can be even more confusing to keep these straight. A very good example of this are the verbs heiraten and verheiraten.


Ich weiß, eines Tages, da heiraten wir.

I know someday we'll marry.

Caption 32, Monsters of Liedermaching - Für immer

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Using the example below with verheiraten and the subject reflected as the direct object (example 1: wir/uns, example 2: sie/sich), we arrive at the same meaning: 


Ich weiß, eines Tages, da verheiraten wir uns.
I know someday we'll marry.


Ich weiß, eines Tages, da verheiraten sie sich.
I know someday they'll marry.


Both of the examples could use "get married" instead of "marry". The verb verheiraten, when used without a reflective direct object, has a different meaning, however: 


Die Großmutter wollte den Sohn auf jeden Fall verheiraten.
The grandmother wanted badly to get her grandson married off. 


Another easily confused pair are geheiratet and verheiratet: 


Mein Bruder Martin hat letztes Jahr geheiratet.

My brother Martin got married last year.

Caption 19, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Besuch - Part 3

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Der König freute sich, dass seine Tochter endlich verheiratet war.

The King was delighted that his daughter finally got married.

Caption 37, Märchen - Sagenhaft - König Drosselbart

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Both geheiratet and verheiratet can be translated as "got married," but there's a big difference in how you use the words. The word geheiratet is a past participle of the verb heiraten. The word verheiratet, on the other hand, is an adjective which stems from the verb heiraten. Thus you can can say: Ich habe geheiratet ("I got married") or Ich bin verheiratet ("I am married") but not vice-versa! A good way to remember the difference is that the prefix ge- ist one of the most common prefixes used in past participles of German verbs. 


Further Learning
Look for variations of heiraten and verheiraten on Yabla German to see them in a real-world context, and take a look at this article on the topic!

Why Me of All People?

And why on Yabla German of all places? Well, that's easy: it's because you want to learn German and you know how great the Yabla language learning system is! But speaking of learning, how do you say phrases like "... of all places" and "... of all people" in German? 


First, a little background on the phrase. The separable German verb ausrechnen, in its standard form, means "to compute," "to figure out," "to calculate," or "to estimate," as in this example: 


Wie rechnet ihr eure Chancen aus zu gewinnen?

What do you estimate your chances of winning are?

Caption 11, Yabla-Filmfestspiele - Preisverleihung

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However, a slang adverb developed out of the past participle of the verb ausrechnen:


Ja, ausgerechnet Stauffenberg. Wer hätte das gedacht?

Yes, Stauffenberg of all people. Who would have thought that?

Caption 54, Die Stunde der Offiziere - Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944 - Part 13

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Ich wundere mich ein wenig,

I'm a bit surprised

dass ausgerechnet heute Ihre Sekretärin nicht da ist, Herr General.

that today of all days your secretary isn't here, General.

Captions 54-55, Die Stunde der Offiziere - Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944 - Part 8

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Und ausgerechnet im „Skatershop“

And in the skate shop, of all places,

wartete auch schon der nächste Spießer.

the next philistine is waiting too.

Caption 9, Thomas D - Ärgernisse

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Und das ausgerechnet von Hühnern…

And that, of all things, from chickens…

Caption 5, Tierakademie Scheuerhof - Tiertrainer im Hühner-Seminar

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So basically you can use the slang adverb ausgerechnet to mean "... of all" and then whatever the topic of your discussion is. Occasionally, the slang adverb ausgerechnet may be translated otherwise: 


… und wieso man ausgerechnet für die betreffende Firma arbeiten möchte.

… and why you specifically would like to work for the respective company.

Caption 25, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen

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Of course, this could also have been translated: "... and why you would like to work for this respective company, of all companies." As with all translations, it's best to use whatever catches the meaning and is most graceful at the same time. 


Achtung: sometimes the past participle of ausrechnen shows up and might fool you:


… über hundertsechzig Filme,

… more than one hundred and sixty movies,

hab' ich jetzt mal einfach so grob ausgerechnet.

I've just now roughly estimated.

Caption 38, Kurzfilm-Festival - Shorts at Moonlight

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Further Learning
Look for more examples of ausgerechnet used in a real-world context on Yabla German, and for further study compare the Duden definition of the verb ausrechnen with the slang adverb ausgerechnet.


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