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German Grammar: Trennbare Verben
As you know, German is pretty great when it comes to creating new words. Long compound words like Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaft are not that uncommon. But it is not as bad as it looks, it is actually pretty logical. Don't you think that "legalprotectioninsurancecompany" would be a great word in English, too?
You can do this with verbs as well. These are composed of a verb and a prefix. Prefixes have predictable meanings most of the time.
The Grammar Challenge
In the present tense, the prefixes are separated from the verb and placed at the very end of the sentence.
Ich stehe jeden Morgen um 7 Uhr auf.
I get up every morning at 7.
Wann stehst du jeden Morgen auf?
When do you get up every morning?
Just for the record, these sentences are grammatically incorrect:
Ich aufstehe um 7 Uhr.
Wann aufstehst du?
Common separable prefixes and their meanings
Knowing the meanings of common prefixes will help you to learn separable verbs quicker.
to clean up, to tidy up
to get up, to stand up
to go out
to switch off
to give back
to come back
to come together
to move in together
Does this mean I can make up words if I don't know which one to use?
Yes, you can try! Sometimes it works, but not always. ausgeben doesn't mean "give out", for example, it means "to spend".
Oh well! I can try it out... oh, is that ausprobieren?