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be- +‎ greifen


  • IPA(key): [bəˈɡʁaɪ̯fɱ̩], [bəˈɡʁaɪ̯fən]
  • (file)
  • (file)


begreifen ‎(class 1 strong, third-person singular simple present begreift, past tense begriff, past participle begriffen, past subjunctive begriffe, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to understand, comprehend, realize, grasp
    Ich kann die Komplexität davon nicht begreifen. I can't grasp the complexity of it.
  2. to see
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 33/2010, page 71:
      Betroffen sind nun vor allem auch die gutausgebildeten und bislang gutverdienenden Leute. Diejenigen, die sich als solide Mittelklasse begreifen.
      Also affected are now especially the well-educated and so far well-paid people. The ones that see themselves as solid middle class.
      Above can be understood as the Germans using "to understand" in the case of "The ones that understand themselves as solid middle class" rather than having them "see" themselves that way. This may be a better way of understanding usage if one is trying to learn the German language and may help keep straight when to use various forms of "sehen" (which would not be used here) and when not.



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