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Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich ihre Spielsachen verräumt.

While I was going to the bedroom of my kids, I picked up their toys.

Can I also use aufräumen or einräumen in this context? What's the difference between those three?

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4 Answers 4

To specifically address the title of your question:

  • einräumen: Putting something into something.
  • aufräumen: Arrange things to reduce chaos.
  • verräumen: This can be used like einräumen. I would say it is a bit more archaic; I heard this often at the Bundesmarine, whose soldiers often use a special slang. Also heard often there was verbringen (which also has other meanings)

You can use aufräumen, but the phrase has then a different meaning.

Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich ihre Spielsachen verräumt.

This just means you lift the toys to somewhere else.

Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich ihre Spielsachen eingeräumt.

This specifically means you have put the toys into something.

Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich ihre Spielsachen aufgeräumt.

This means you reduced chaos among the toys, but does not necessarily mean you have cleared up the room. You could also say:

Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich dieses aufgeräumt.

Though we usually say "Kinderzimmer":

Während ich ins Kinderzimmer ging, habe ich dieses aufgeräumt.

I think you phrase contains a little fallacy: You did not really clear up the room while walking into the room, right?

Ich ging ins Kinderzimmer und räumte dieses auf. == I went into the kid's room and cleaned it up.

Während ich ins Schlafzimmer meiner Kinder ging, habe ich ihre Spielsachen aufgeräumt.

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In addition to the other answers, I would like to point out that etwas einräumen can also have an entirely different meaning:

Der Offizier hat Fehler eingeräumt.

This would translate to

The officer has admitted errors.

No objects are being moved around here.

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While I am new to German Language (the site, not the language), would this not be a comment? –  phresnel Apr 23 at 7:18
    
Don't know for sure either. I think it would be to long for a comment. –  PMF Apr 23 at 7:21
    
Seems to fit :D : In addition to the other answers, I would like to point out that etwas einräumen can also have an entirely different meaning: Der Offizier hat Fehler eingeräumt. This would translate to The officer has admitted errors. No objects are being moved around here.. Anyways, I think this is definitely worthwhile to mention. –  phresnel Apr 23 at 7:22
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In addition to the other answers:

In my experience

Ich habe die Spielsachen weggeräumt.

would be the most appropriate way to express that you just put some toys back to their places. While aufräumen can certainly be used in this sense, it can also be used to put an area/room/container back to an uncluttered state.

Ich habe das Kinderzimmer aufgeräumt.

(I did not only pick up the toys, but also the clothes that somehow ended up in a corner and the wrappings of the sweets they did not hide properly)

  • verräumen (no duden article, but my Austrian dictionary contains it - may be specifically Austrian German):

    ver|räu|men: wegräumen; verlegen; verstecken

(Österreichisches Wörterbuch, 39. Auflage)

I've heard parents using verräumen to indicate that they put the toys somewhere the children can not easily reach/find them. So depending on context, there may be some slight difference in meaning to aufräumen.

Side note: Verräumen is also used as a slang expression in (some regions of) Austria to indicate that someone has been violently removed from this world. It is also in use as a slang expression for describing the process of cars being violently removed from the road in an accident.

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agree with @Hulk; the meaning of "verräumen" is rather NOT to put something back into its place (>> "aufräumen"), but to put it away, maybe for good (>> "wegräumen"), or that something has been put somewhere, and now I can't find it (>> "verlegen"). I could imagine that this might be a specialty to Austrian and Bavarian German (where I'm coming from) –  Lothar Mueller Apr 23 at 16:21
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Yes, you can also use aufräumen in this context. In this case verräumen means removing something to create space, so it is very close to aufräumen. I live in Germany and I have never seen ver räumen, so I tried to look it up and couldn't find it. You should consider using aufräumen instead.

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