Separable verbs in the present tense

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Separable verbs in the present tense

Separable verbs = prefix + verb stem

einkaufen : ein + kaufen

to go shopping

The conjugated verb stem comes after the subject. The prefix comes at the end of the sentence.

einkaufen  Ich kaufe im Asia-Markt ein. EINKAUFEN

To go shopping I go shopping at the Asian shop.

aufstehen Tim steht immer spät auf. AUFSTEHEN

To get up Tim always gets up late.

ankommen  Wann kommt Anna in Berlin an? ANKOMMEN

To Arrive When will Anna arrive in Berlin?

These are the most important separable verbs: einkaufen (to go shopping), aufstehen (to get up), anfangen (to start), mitkommen (to come with), abholen (to collect), ankommen (to arrive), mitnehmen (to take with), fernsehen (to watch TV), anrufen (to call), vorbereiten (to prepare)

Ich nehme meine Badehose mit. MITNEHMEN

I’m taking my swimming trunks with me.

Caroline bereitet das Frühstück vor. VORBEREITEN

Caroline is preparing the breakfast.

Kommt Rüdiger auch mit? MITKOMMEN

Is Rüdiger also coming too?

A separable verb sometimes has a similar meaning to the same verb without the prefix. Sometimes the meaning is very different.

Ich kaufe ein Auto.

I buy a car.

Ich kaufe Obst und Gemüse ein. (= etwas im Supermarkt kaufen)

I buy fruit and vegetables. (= something in the supermarket)

Er fängt den Ball.

He catches the ball.

Er fängt mit dem Studium an. (= das Studium beginnen)

He is starting the course.

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