The 'Ver' at the beginning of the words.
I've recently noticed that there are a bunch of 'Ver_' (Examples: Verkaufen, Verwandten, verstehe.) in german. Is it like Zeuge, or something else? If so, how does it work? What are it's rules?
It is a verb prefix. (Preverb?)
It can mean a lot of things. Look here: https://yourdailygerman.com/2013/10/23/german-prefix-ver-meaning/
If that post is too long, here is what I found on Wiktionary
- Inseparable verbal prefix for- vergeben (“to forgive”)
- Inseparable verbal prefix that denotes a transition of the object into a state, which is indicated by the stem. lieben (“to love”) → sich verlieben (“to fall in love”) urteilen (“to pronounce judgment”) → verurteilen (“to convict”)
- Inseparable verbal prefix indicating a faulty action. laufen (“to walk”) → sich verlaufen (“to get lost”) zählen (“to count”) → sich verzählen (“to miscount”)
I would also add when it means "opposite". Kaufen= to buy, Verkaufen= to sell. But this usage is rare.
Many thanks for the link---excellent article! I finally understood the common semantic root of all the vers-
Maybe there is an explanation in this list: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:German_prefixes