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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?

December 5, 2017



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


  1. Inseparable verbal prefix for- vergeben (“to forgive”)
  2. 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”)
  3. 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.


Another opposite meaning: Mieten=to rent, vermieten= to to rent out, to let.


Many thanks for the link---excellent article! I finally understood the common semantic root of all the vers-


Excellent link, thanks

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