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'rinnen' vs. 'fleißen'

*) What is the difference between:
- rinnen, fleißen and strömen?
- emporheben, heben and hochziehen?
- verzieren and schmücken?
- (sich) ausbreiten and verbreiten?
- der Grab and die Gruft?
- eifersüchtig and neidisch?

LG Jason

September 7, 2017



"rinnen" is mostly used for smaller amounts of liquid, as in to trickle or to leak

"fließen" (mind the typo you had: IE instead of EI) is to flow (just like "rinnen"), but more of the liquid. You can use it for a river or creek, mostly when it runs in a more slowish speed

"strömen" is much more liquid, like a huge river (in German: "ein Strom") and often in a higer velocity.

  • emporheben = to lift (heben) upwards (empor). A bit poetic, as is empor.
  • heben = to lift
  • hochziehen = to pull (ziehen) up (hoch)

verzieren and schmücken are similar: they're both "decorate, adorn, beautify by adding something"

das Grab is neuter. die Gruft is less used and I'm not sure of the exact sense; my feeling is that it's more of a cave (perhaps like a mausoleum) than a hole in the ground, but I may be wrong.

  • eifersüchtig = jealous
  • neidisch = envious

In both English and German, I think many mix them up. But eifersüchtig is more about wanting to have someone and neidisch is more about wanting to have something -- you might be jealous if someone is going out on a friendly date with your girlfriend, and also envious because the car they are driving is a lot more expensive than yours is.


Hi Dschaeson,

emporheben - to elevate (the word is often used in texts about art or religion, "Die Tänzerin wurde elegant emporgehoben" )

(hoch)heben - to lift(up) (you lift up a box or a other things, "Ich ❤❤❤❤ den Stuhl hoch, damit Du da staubsaugen kannst")

hochziehen - to raise sth. ( you can raise a person, a thing or an eyebrow, " Tim sitzt am Boden. Tina reicht ihm die Hand und zieht ihn hoch.")

verzieren - to decorate so./sth. (you make things pretty, you decorate a cake or a wall. "Anna verziert den Bilderrahmen mit Blumen"

schmücken - to embellish ( you put something on things to make them pretty, a christmas tree f.e. "Er schmückt den Weihnachtsbaum." "Sie schmückt das Grab mit Blumen.")

ausbreiten - to spread (a disease or a flood can spread, you can also spread a fabric. "Sie breitet die (Bett)Decke aus.")

verbreiten - distribute sth. (rumours or news. "Das Gerücht verbreitete sich in Windeseile.")

das Grab - grave (a hole Is two foot wide and six feet deep, "Sie tragen ihn zu Grabe".)

die Gruft - vault (Vampires live there ;-).

eifersüchtig - jealous (you feel it when you see your partner with someone else. "Tom ist furchtbar eifersüchtig, wenn er Lisa mit Alex zusammen sieht.")

neidisch - enviously ("Anna ist neidisch auf Susi weil sie das teure Kleid anhat, daß sie sich nicht leisten kann. Tom ist neidisch auf Adam, weil er mehr Erfolg im Beruf hat.")

The english words are more a guess but I hope it helps you a little bit to understand the differences.

best regards Angel


<sub>Fleißen</sub>→fließen | fleißig = diligent


Rinnen is like run, should be more common than the other two I think, and could imply that it runs rapidly. Strömen is an equivalent to stream, the water streams, flows. Probably used with larger bodies of water or when talking about water in drains. I believe fleißen is only used with like rivers and the like. Should be equivalent to float in English? I am basing this on the equivalent words in Swedish, rinna, flyta and strömma, so this might not be completely accurate for German hehe.

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