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Separable verbs starting with ein-

As defined in Wikipedia, a separable verb is a verb that is composed of a core verb and a separable particle. In some sentence positions, the core verb and the particle appear in one word, while in others the core verb and the particle are separated.

 

The word ein in German can be the particle of a separable verb, or the indefinite article "a" or "an." It is sometimes difficult to see in a sentence which one it is. It will help you to distinguish ein- as a prefix particle of a separable verb if you learn some of the separable verbs starting with ein-.

 

Many German verbs start with the particle ein. This is because in English, you may "drill into a wall," and "into" is a preposition. But in German, the "into" is  part of the verb: "to drill" is bohren, but "to drill into" is einbohren. Thus there are hundreds of verbs starting with ein-, but let's concentrate today on the more common ones. The present tense is shown additionally for examples that aren't in their "separated" form.

 

Er atmete tief ein und spielte eine einzige Note.

He took a deep breath and played a single note.

Caption 38, Märchen - Sagenhaft: Der Rattenfänger von Hameln

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Ne, wenn man hier Magnete einbauen würde...

Right, if you were to install magnets here...

Caption 69, Das 1. Newtonsche Gesetz erklärt am Beispiel des Dodomobils - Part 1

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Present tense: Man baut die Magnete ein.

banner PLACEHOLDER

Sollen wir nächste Woche ein Meeting einberufen?

Should we call a meeting for next week?

Caption 10, Berufsleben: Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Present tense: Wir berufen ein Meeting ein.

 

Du bildest dir doch wohl nicht ein, dass du da hingehst?

Surely you don't actually imagine that you're going there!

Caption 21, Märchenstunde: Das Aschenputtel

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Der zeigt, dass das Eis elastisch ist und nicht plötzlich einbrechen kann.

It shows that the ice is elastic and can't suddenly collapse.

Captions 43-44, Unterwegs mit Cettina: Schlittschuhlaufen

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Present tense: Das Eis bricht nicht plötzlich ein.

 

Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and read these three lessons about separable verbs in German. Then see if you can find some Yabla videos that use the following verbs with the ein- particle: einarbeiten, einbilden, einchecken, einkaufen, einkommen, einladen, einloggen, einpacken, einreisen, einschlafen, einstellen, einstufen, eintippen, einwandern, einzahlen.

Before, Part I: bevor, vor, or vorher?

There are a number of German words that may be translated as "before," in the temporal meaning of "at a previous time." Among the most common are vor, vorher, and bevor. Let's take a look today at these three German words that are commonly translated to English as "before."

 

The German word bevor is a subordinating conjunction that connects two independent clauses. Note that in most cases, where bevor appears in the last half of a sentence, the verb is usually at the end of the sentence: 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Darf ich's Ihnen dann noch schnell erklären,

May I explain it to you quickly

bevor Sie Ihre Platten essen?

before you eat your platters?

Caption 62, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Drei Wochen lang betteln hier die Jungen,

For three weeks, the young beg here

bevor sie sich selber in die Fluten stürzen.

before they dive into the waters themselves.

Caption 23, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten

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Aber bevor du jetzt schneidest,

But before you start cutting,

check erst mal, ob der Stoff passt.

first check whether the fabric is suitable.

Captions 77-78, Coronavirus - Schutzmasken zum Selbermachen

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The German word vor is a preposition and is usually placed in a sentence to modify a noun. Note that when vor is used in its temporal sense, the definite or indefinite article of its noun is usually dative. For clarity, the preposition, the article, and the noun are in bold print:

 

Du musst den Ball vor dem letzten Schlag der Zwölf verlassen haben.

You need to have left the ball before the last stroke of twelve.

Caption 52, Märchenstunde - Das Aschenputtel

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Soll er die Tabletten morgens,

Should he take the pills in the morning,

mittags und abends vor oder nach dem Essen nehmen?

at noon, and in the evening—and before or after eating?

Caption 17, Nicos Weg - A1 Folge 72: Nehmen Sie...

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Was bekommen wahlberechtigte Bürger und Bürgerinnen in Deutschland vor einer Wahl?

What do citizens who are eligible to vote in Germany receive before an election?

Caption 18, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest

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The German word vorher is an adverb:

 

Alles andere kommt vorher.

Everything else comes before it.

Caption 35, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Konjunktionen

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Und dann kam es wieder aus dem Gully raus

And then it came out of the storm drain again,

und noch viel größer und noch viel böser als vorher.

much bigger and much meaner than before.

Caption 54, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Note that vorher is sometimes translated as "beforehand" and "previously," depending upon the context: 

 

Es besteht die Möglichkeit, jedes Board vorher zu testen...

The possibility exists, to test every board beforehand...

Caption 41, Longboarding - mit Lassrollen

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Dann bekommt man Geld zurück, das man vorher dafür bezahlt hat.

Then you get the money back that you previously paid for them.

Caption 13, Diane - auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt

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Further Learning
To recap: bevor usually connects two sentences; vor is a preposition that usually uses the dative case when referring to time; and vorher is an adverb that, as we know, modifies a verb. The best way to get an understanding of which word is appropriate in which context is hear them being used, however. Go to Yabla German and search for each of the three words—be sure that the examples with vor that you find are related to time and not place—and see the different ways that people commonly use them.

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