Unterschied zwischen ähnlichen Verben

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen (auswählen) , (aussuchen) und (sich aussuchen) ?? Danke im Vorraus!

December 25, 2016


As a native speaker, I would use auswählen if all the possible options are clear, like wähle eine Spielfarbe (pick a suit) in a card game. Aussuchen on the other hand involves suchen. Like there is a box with lots of clothes inside, such dir etwas passendes aus (if you can find something).

December 25, 2016

Oh, boy. Great question. I don't really have that great of an answer. They're pretty much interchangeable. I'm trying to come up with sentences where one option works and not the other two, but so far I've got nothing.

Can "aussuchen" even stand on its own, without the reflexive pronoun? Probably...

I'm not sure here.

December 25, 2016
  • 190

I also can’t think of a sentence where aussuchen without a reflexive pronoun sounds acceptable to me… There may be one, but if there is, it’s probably rather obscure.

As far as auswählen vs sich aussuchen is concerned, the former sounds more formal to me. For example, you wouldn’t usually tell a child “Wähl mal ein Geschenk aus!” You would say: “Such dir mal ein Geschenk aus.” But if there is a news report about it (due to slow news season maybe xD), they might say: “Das Kind hat das Auto ausgewählt.”

But apart from that, I feel that sich etw. aussuchen is most commonly used in the sense of “to choose something (to get it)” (I think it’s the reflexive pronoun that makes it sound that way: “to choose something for oneself”). If it’s not about getting that thing, I would have a stronger tendency to use a different word, for example auswählen or sich entscheiden für (to make a decision in favour of). But there is no strict distinction. You can use sich aussuchen even if it’s not about getting something, I just feel people are slightly less likely to do so then.

Oh and btw – you hear sich etw. auswählen as well occasionally. That would be completely synonymous to sich etwas aussuchen sense-wise, and even in terms of style the difference is negligibly tiny.

December 25, 2016
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.