https://www.duolingo.com/SyxHyTex

Usage of laufen vs rennen for "to run"?

Hello all,

I just started using this app two weeks ago to start re-learning German (I took two college courses over a year ago), and it is fantastic! My question is, do native German speakers ever use laufen as "to run", or is rennen or another verb more commonly used for that purpose? Is there another verb for "to walk" besides laufen?

Viele Danke! :)

5 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/GottfriedK

Native speaker here. 'Gehen' is usually used to indicate going by foot. 'Rennen' is pretty much the same as 'to run'. 'Laufen' however is really a rather strange word. Occasionally it is used as 'to walk', but I would say it's more common as a weaker form of running, more like jogging. For example, when running away from a wild animal you would use rennen, when you run/jog around town to improve your fitness, laufen is more appropriate. Basically: gehen laufen rennen sprinten; Hope this helps!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SyxHyTex

This is a perfect answer, thank you very much! :) The spectrum in particular is nice to remember. Gave you a lingot for the answer too.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GottfriedK

Thank you very much, I really appreciate it :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kirillkula

What about spazieren?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thurid
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spazieren gehen = going for a walk, but you can also use spazieren as "to stroll"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GottfriedK

Spazieren = going for a walk

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erikman
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I've always had the same problem. Thanks for the explanation (I gave you a lingot too!).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus
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Gottfried, you are a life saver! I was preparing to ask the same question so you answered it! I am a beginning German learner and I was getting so confused when DuoLingo used "Ich renne" and in the next sentence, "Ich laufe" and it was shown as the word running...for both words! Very confusing and I thought there was a serious glitch or error with the language program. Thank you again for helping clear this up! Danke! (my first ever attempt at speaking a German word to a native speaker, ha ha) A lingot for you. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GScharffen

Good explanation. But can you use gehen to indicate your going from one place to another without specifying the means or ways of transportation? For example, saying that one goes to the park without specifying if running, walking, jogging or driving?

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnnau32
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perfect answer!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarabiLion

thank you so much

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/namtran309

Thank you a lot!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rank03

thanks

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kristinemc

Hi everyone! I'm the community manager at Duolingo. I can see that some people got a little heated about someone suggesting to take a look at previous discussions (which is a completely acceptable suggestion). We are working on making it easier to see what has already been asked, so that repeated questions don't happen too often. A goal for 2014 is to revamp the discussion design :D And if you disagree in the forums that's fine, but keep in mind these guidelines as you respond: http://www.duolingo.com/guidelines Thanks!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erikman
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Thanks! I love how you guys are so dedicated to improving a free service!! It shows a real dedication to improving our experience and helping other people learn. Personally, I (and I'm sure many other people here) really appreciate the effort you all put into it. It just seems to be a project that you really enjoy doing, which in a way rubs off on us making it more enjoyable for everyone. Thanks again!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anglea
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I'm quite happy for the same questions to be asked again and again. I look at the latest discussions and see what I can learn. To get the benefit of this question I'd rather just find it there being asked than have to think of looking it up myself.

I didn't even consider the question of when to use laufen or renned until I saw this. So thank you!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
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Have you tried the search function? I think there are already a lot of discussions and explanations about this problem.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ryan5

There is a search function?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Primzahl

Well, we use "laufen" almost always, also in the meaning of "to run". For example if you go running in the morning, you wouldn't say "rennen" but "laufen". So you can always use "laufen". You can use "rennen" if you want to emphasise that you are running fast. And there are other German words for to walk: "gehen" and if you want to say that you are going for a walk you say "spazieren gehen".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus
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Thanks for this clarification Primzahl, that helps a lot! I had the same question, just like Jason Meador. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason.Meador

Good question, I was wondering the same thing!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ashen13
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How would say sprint like In a track team were you practice running 100 meters or something like that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CkSummits

From my earlier experience, rennen is used for running whenever it is used in a sense of racing or chasing after (not hunting) i.e. running to catch the bus, running away from someone or racing against time or any competition. That's perhaps why Rennen as a noun means a race, even a motor race (zb. Formula 1 Rennen) where technically no one is running. Hope a native speaker can validate

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zest16
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As Subway to Sally's song puts it:

Besser du gehst Besser du läufst Besser du rennst So schnell du kannst Und so weit Wie dich dein Atem tragen kann

10 months ago
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