Tag Archives: separable verbs

All’s well that ends well?!

I was working on the vocabulary for the next section of my new favorite exercise book Wörter und Sätze and I came across the word einschenken. Since the main meaning of schenken for me is “to give a gift,” I completely misinterpreted the example sentence Der Gastgeber schenkte uns Rotwein ein. This means “The host poured [some] red wine for us.” That little ein changes everything! This reminded of a prefixed word that one would much prefer to hear relative to its unprefixed base form, ankündigen – “to announce.” Without the little an at the front, kündigen, you’d be “be giving your notice to quit” or “getting notice that a something (e.g., a contract) has been terminated.” At least, unlike with einschenken, the surprise of the an appearing at the end is a good one!

I also learned a new idiomatic expression, perhaps useful in the situation where someone needs to terminate something with someone else: Ich möchte Ihnen reinen Wein einschenken – “I want to come clean with you” or “I want to be straight with you” or literally “I would like to pour [some] pure/unadulterated wine for you.” After this you can begin again by “making a pure table” – reinen Tisch machen – or “wiping the slate clean.”

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