Two German verbs that will confuse you a lot – aufheben and einstellen

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Two German verbs that will confuse you a lot – aufheben and einstellen

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Right, these two German verbs will make you confused as they are used in many different situations with different meanings. Alongside in daily life, at workplaces or in jobs you will often encounter them. So it's important to understand and work on them untill you find yourself comfortable using them. So let's go:

Both 'aufheben' and 'einstellen' are separable verbs i.e. auf + heben, ein + stellen

Let's start with 'aufheben': verb "aufheben" is quite versatile and can have several meanings depending on the context. So it's essential to understand the situation in which the verb is used. Let's dive into the different meanings and uses of "aufheben" with examples:

to Pick Up / to Lift / to Raise: This is probably the most common meaning of 'aufheben'. It refers to physically picking up, lifting, or raising something from a lower position.

Ich hebe das Buch auf - I pick up the book

Kannst du die Kisten aufheben? - Can you lift the boxes?

Sie hebt die Hand auf - She raises her hand

to Keep / to Preserve: 'aufheben' can also mean to keep or preserve something, especially in a sense of saving or retaining something for future use.

Die Sammlung wurde aufgehoben - The collection was preserved

Er will diese Erinnerung aufheben - He wants to keep this memory

to Cancel / to Repeal: In certain contexts, 'aufheben' can refer to canceling or repealing something, often in a formal or legal sense.

Das Gesetz wurde aufgehoben - The law was repealed

Die Entscheidung wurde aufgehoben - The decision was overturned

to Lift / to Remove / to Take Down: 'aufheben' can be used in the sense of removing or taking down something that was previously in place.

Wir haben die Schilder aufgehoben - We took down the signs

Die Sperrung wurde aufgehoben - The roadblock was lifted

to Pick Up / to Collect: In some contexts, 'aufheben' can also mean to collect or gather things.

Sie hat die Münzen aufgehoben - She collected the coins

Kannst du die Wäsche aufheben? - Can you pick up the laundry?

Like 'aufheben', 'einstellen' is another versatile verb with various meanings depending on the context. Its meanings can range from 'to adjust' to 'to hire' to 'to stop'. Let's explore the different meanings and uses of 'einstellen':

to Adjust / to Set: One common meaning of 'einstellen' is related to adjusting or setting something to a specific value, level, or condition.

Kannst du die Temperatur am Thermostat einstellen? - Can you adjust the temperature on the thermostat?

Ich muss die Uhrzeit auf meiner Uhr neu einstellen - I need to set the time on my watch again

Stelle die Lautstärke des Fernsehers niedriger ein - Lower the volume of the television

to Hire / to Employ: 'einstellen' can also mean to hire or employ someone for a job or position.

Die Firma hat einen neuen Mitarbeiter eingestellt - The company hired a new employee

Sie sucht nach jemandem, den sie als Assistenten einstellen kann - She's looking for someone she can hire as an assistant

to Cease / to Stop: In certain contexts, 'einstellen' can be used to express stopping or ceasing an activity or behavior.

Die Produktion wurde vorübergehend eingestellt - Production was temporarily stopped

Er hat das Rauchen eingestellt - He quit smoking

to Discontinue / to Cancel: 'einstellen' can also refer to discontinuing or canceling something, often in the context of a service or product.

Die Firma hat die Herstellung dieses Produkts eingestellt - The company discontinued the production of this product

Der Sender wird sein Programm bald einstellen - The broadcaster will soon discontinue its program.

Above examples give us a good understanding of the different meanings and uses of the verbs 'aufheben' and 'einstellen' in German grammar.

But remember, understanding the context in which these verbs are used is crucial for accurately interpreting their meanings.

Have fun guys :-)
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