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Geben vs. Schenken


What is the difference between Geben vs. Schenken?


June 19, 2018



Using the verb "schenken" means you give somebody a present / gift.

He gives a present to his mum. = Er gibt seiner Mama ein Geschenk. = Er schenkt seiner Mama "ein Geschenk". It would be better to replace "ein Geschenk" with the actual present.

Er schenkt seiner Mama ein Buch.

Using the verb "geben" can have the meaning of "schenken", however it also implies you hand something to somebody without changing ownership.

Der Lehrer gibt den Kindern Hausaufgaben. (The teacher "give" homework to the children. Better: The teacher tells the kids what their homework is.)

Er gibt seinem Freund ein Buch. = He gives the book to his friend.

There is no present involved just the act of giving something to somebody.


Excellent thank you!

  • 1313

I have noticed that when schenken is used that it usually a positive thing for the receiver; such as give a smile or give a present. With geben it seems to be a more neutral thing but can be a bad or a good thing that is being given.

Good question, I am sure we will get some better answers.


This is great thank you for your post.

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