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Difference between "Nutzen" and "Benutzen"

What are the differences in use between these two? They are quite similar from what I have learned thus far.

June 3, 2012



Benutzen is used with concrete objects and nutzen is used for ideas, like Moeglichkeit, Gelegenheit, etc.


This is the actual rule. Concrete vs. abstract things. Have a lingot.


like the difference between 'sache' for abstract and 'dinge' for actual stuf?


@sheldona: I think your rule works well in most cases. To elaborate a bit further on the usage: The connotations of the two verbs are slightly different. If you use 'benutzen' the focus lies on the concrete act of using something while 'nutzen' emphasizes the advantage you obtain from using it. Some examples: 'Ich benutze den Hammer', 'Ich nutze die Gunst der Stunde', 'Das Angebot intensiv nutzen', 'ein Werkzeug benutzen', 'die Toilette benutzen', 'ein Gerät täglich benutzen'. In some cases, both verbs are possible: 'Ich nutze das Internet', 'Ich benutze das Internet'. In these cases the meaning is slightly different according to what I wrote above.


I have read somewhere, that "nutzen" is translated as "use (generic)". Does it make sense, or rather "to make the best use of"? „Die andere Mannschaft nutzte die Fehler, um unsere zu siegen“


Does anyone know which form should be used when you tell your guests they can use the garden and the bench outside the house?


They are really the same it is only different in how you use it in a sentence.

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