Scheinen or Erscheinen?

Both words seem to have quite a high frequency use. But which one exactly when and where since they kind of mean the same thing.

Anyone have some clues?

October 11, 2018


1. Die Sonne scheint = The sun is shining.
2. Es scheint so zu sein = It seems to be like that.

Erscheinen: Es erscheint ein kleiner Hund auf dem Bildschirm = A little dog appears on the screen.

So can we make it even more confusing? Yes, we can:
Es scheint so, dass die Sonne jeden Tag am Himmel erscheint und scheint...
It seems the sun appears in the sky every day and shines.

Does that help in any way?

October 11, 2018

Roughley they can both translate as appear. But in different context. While scheinen can be use for sun is shining. Erscheinen can not be. is a good online dictionary to use. It gives examples also. And conjugations,'s like a tiny grammar heaven.

October 11, 2018

Cool, I'll check that out , thanks!

October 11, 2018

While the use for appearing and shining of light are relatively straight forward using it to express an opinion is the tricky part. Both sentences below have almost the same meaning, but depending on which structure you use they change:

Das erscheint mir eine gute Gelegenheit zu sein.


Es scheint mir eine gute Gelegenheit zu sein.

= It/this seems to be a good oportunity

October 11, 2018
  • Bitte erscheinen Sie p√ľnktlich. (Please apear on time)
  • Die Sonne scheint. (The sun is shining)
October 11, 2018

Scheinen means to shine (like the sun), and also to appear (seem) like something.

Erscheinen means to appear (in the sense of arriving or becoming visible).

October 12, 2018
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