WHAT ARE PREFIX VERBS
A prefix verb is basically a “normal” verb with a little extra syllable in the front that modifies the meaning - sometimes just a bit and sometimes beyond common sense.
For example “machen” is “to make” and “aufmachen” is “to open”.
Or even better - “hören” is “to hear” and “aufhören” is “to stop”.
Seriously, what is German thinking :)?
Prefix verbs are an integral part of German and you need to really master them to talk fluently.
PREFIX VERBS IN GERMAN
Many languages have prefix verbs but in German they’re especially present.
They’re all over the place, their meanings are all over the place, as well. And even their parts are all over the place, because the prefixes tend to split of and hang around at the very end of a sentence, far away from their base.
Like here, for the verb "aufmachen".
Ich mache das kleine Fenster in der Küche auf.
I open the small window in the kitchen.
Our goal is to create a book that is fun to read AND to look at and that will help you build an intuitive understanding of German prefix verbs.
WHAT WILL YOU FIND IN THIS BOOK
A quick introduction to prefix verbs in general - what they are, what they do, where they come from and how they work in German.
Quick explanations of the core ideas of some of the most common prefixes.
Example sentences in German and English for all the verbs.
Over 50 amazing, colorful, lovely cartoons that’ll make it easy to remember the verbs.
A look at 30 of the most useful, most interesting German prefix verbs - we’ll learn what they mean, and more importantly WHY they mean what they mean and how the idea of the prefix modifies the verbs.
WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR
Beginners, who want to start dipping their toe into the world of prefix verbs.
Advanced learners, who want to get an understanding of prefix verbs that goes beyond what you find in normal text books.
Native Germans who want to get an idea of what it feels like to learn German.
Teachers who have trouble explaining German prefix verbs to their students.
People who need a present for a friend who learns German.
People who are interested in languages in general (because the way of thinking is not specific to German).
WHAT THE BOOK OFFERS
reinfallen - to fall for a trap
reinfallen is the r-version of einfallen (more on that in the book) and it can mean literally falling into something, but it’s also the common choice for “falling for a trap or trick”.
eingehen - to shrink
One of the meanings of “eingehen” is “to shrink” for laundry. And if we realize that shrinking is essentially a contraction, this meaning fits with eingehen’s core theme of “going inward” .
The English phrase „to come to mind“ shows the logic already. In German, the ideas are just a bit more „uncontrolled“ as they „fall in“ or „drop in“, if you will. It‘s a REALLY common verb in every day German and it‘s not only used for new ideas coming to your head, but also for bits of info that are already there... somewhere.
Like your new coworker‘s name, for example. So you find „einfallen“ a lot in contexts where English uses „to remember“ or just „to think of“.
It does have a notion of „suddenness“, and it generally works better for mundane small scale things. You wouldn‘t use it for big inventions or reminiscing.
The grammar probably takes a bit of getting used to. The idea or thought is the subject and does the „falling in“, but you also need the person having the idea in the sentence. That‘s having the role of a receiver and the case for that is Dative. And it‘ll often be at the beginning of the phrase.
“Hast du ein Beispiel ohne Einhörner?”
“Mir fällt grad keins ein.”
“Do you have an example without unicorns?”
“I can’t think of one.”
Ihm (Thomas) ist eingefallen, dass er morgen einen Zahnarzttermin hat.
He (Thomas) remembered that he has a dentist appointment tomorrow.
A SNEAK PEEK INTO THE BOOK
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ABOUT THE CREATORS
After his crypto… erm… “investments” went sour, Emanuel needed a new way to make money. He has already written a LOT about prefix verbs on his epic blog Yourdailygerman.com so making a book about them seemed like an easy cash grab.
But it turned into something more.
An artist who brings her love for vivid images and emotionally engaging characters into her designs. She is a Creative Director at animation studio Woodblock and a creator of Helen handshoes illustration series. German prefix verbs confuse her just as much as her readers and this is her attempt to learn by illustrating each of them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When will the book come out?
We don’t want to give a fixed date yet, but we're 80% done and it’s going to be 2023. Hopefully :)
Will there be a physical version?
Yes, we plan to offer both, a normal paperback and a more expensive high quality print. We’re still working out the details.
Where can we buy the book?
We’re not 100% sure yet where we’ll sell it, but you’ll definitely be able to get it online, either on Amazon, another big site or our own webshop.
I’m already fluent.
Will this be for me, too?
We think so, because there are a bunch of concepts in the book that you likely haven’t heard of (unless you’re reading Yourdailygerman). And it’s a lot of fun and you’ll probably also see a few meanings of common verbs that you didn’t know.
Can we preorder?
Yes, we’ll keep you updated via our newsletter as soon as we’re ready.
Are you going to ship outside of Europe?
Yes, but we can’t promise global shipping at the moment, It depends on how we distribute the book and which country you’re in.
You’ll definitely be able to by the ebook version though.
Will there be an e-book version?
I’m a total beginner.
Will this be for me, too?
We think so. The sooner you start learning about prefix verbs the better and the book is a great way to also see some real German examples with translations right beside them.