Separable Prefixes

German verbs can have two types of prefixes: separable and inseparable.

Separable prefixes

Separable prefixes can be separated from the main verb and placed at the end of a clause or sentence. They are always stressed in pronunciation. Some common separable prefixes include:

ab- (away from, off)
an- (to, on, at)
auf- (up, on, upon)
aus- (out, from, off)
bei- (with, near)
durch- (through, by)
ein- (into, in, at)
für- (for, in favor of)
mit- (with, along with)
nach- (after, behind)
über- (over, above)
um- (around, about)
unter- (under, below)
von- (from, of)
zu- (to, at, for)
wieder- (again, back)

Inseparable prefixes

Inseparable prefixes cannot be separated from the main verb. They are never stressed in pronunciation. Some common inseparable prefixes include:

be- (to make, to do)
ent- (to remove, to take away)
er- (to become, to turn)
ge- (past participle marker)
miss- (not, without)
ver- (to spoil, to ruin)
voll- (full of)
zer- (to tear apart, to break)

Dual prefixes

Some prefixes can be used as either separable or inseparable, depending on the meaning of the verb. Some common dual prefixes include:

vor- (before, in front of)
zurück- (back)
wider- (against, again)

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