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Aussehen vs. Scheinen


Does anyone know the difference between Aussehen vs. Scheinen?

I have heard one is subjective, while the other is objective, but I really don't know.


June 22, 2018



They both mean "to appear", but "aussehen" is more "to look like" and "scheinen" is more "to seem".

The nouns are "das Aussehen" (the looks) and "der Schein" (the appearance, but also the bank note). You can find the word in sayings like "Mehr Schein als Sein" or "der Schein trügt". "Aussehen" is not so deep in meaning.

Also, "scheinen" means "to shine", as in "Die Sonne scheint".


"aussehen" is neutral with respect to whether the thing described is really what it looks like or not. "scheinen" on the other hand has the connotation that it definitely is not. Examples: "Der Apfel sieht gut aus" = "the apple looks good" (and nothing is told about whether it really is good or not). "der Fall scheint klar (zu sein)" = "the case seems (to be) clear" (but it isn't!).

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