Quote from Yahoo! Answers: They are roughly synonymous.
"Rennen" has more connotations of competition, like "das Auto-/ Pferde-/ Hunde-/ Radrennen", while "laufen" is just moving quickly, in humans as well as animals.and things. "Das Wasser läuft.". "Die Maschine läuft." "Mein Auto läuft gut."
Human runners will always be called "Läufer", never "Renner", although their competition can be either called "ein 400m Rennen" or "ein 400m Lauf", though most speakers prefer the latter.
Somehow "rennen" sounds faster and more 'driven' than "laufen". You can say "Er läuft langsam", or "Er läuft schnell", but only "Er rennt schnell". "Langsam" can't be used with "rennen", it would be an oxymoron.
The sequence "gehen - eilen - laufen - rennen" shows increasing speed.
same problem. I had "Ich laufe"´like "I walk" and now "Wir laufen" like "We run". I am confused
This somewhat echoes what XRgerman says, but in a much briefer way (although I did enjoy reading that fuller explanation). @NickBambridge, in another post on this topic, simply wrote
I understand it as: gehen = go/walk, laufen = walk/run, and rennen = run/race.
I searched Google images for both of these words and the images that were produced for each support the posts from NickBambridge and XRgerman. The following is a cropped image of the first few images that were produced from a search for "laufen" and a search for "rennen." Not exactly a scientific survey, but it gives me better picture:
Notice how many of the images for "rennen" give you a stronger sense of "speed" than the ones for "laufen."
if you hover the mouse on it you'll get three translations ; (run, walk, go)
i wrote "we go" think it was better but now i know it must be run unless there is an exception to this rule
Apparently rennen is more of a word for 'racing', whereas laufen specifically means to use your legs in an ambulatory fashion. Laufen is fine for walking, though I saw somewhere that 'laufen schnell' is assumed when you use it in certain contexts, I guess if you wanted to stress that you were walking you could say 'Ich laufe langsam'. I'm new to this german thing, so if a native speaker would like to explicate, I'm all for it.
Yes, when laufen translates as to run, to walk or to go has me confused. It seems to be inconsistent in Duolingo
My german girlfriend said laufen is what you would use for running, as in exercise. As bakintoast indicates above.
I hope I am learning correct usage from Duolingo, with so much of confusion around the hints and no explanation whatsoever on the website.
Can anyone suggest why I have been marked wrong for "We are running", when I have always been told that the German present tense can mean "we do" or "we are doing"?
I put "we are jogging" because in previous questions with laufen jogging is accepted. Why is it not here?
It accepted we are walking for me but I was always told "laufen" was to walk or stroll and "rent" was run.
Isn't Rennen running and laufen walking. Or is one like a formal way of saying the same thing.