German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Ich muss mal das Haus kontrollieren, ob wirklich alle Fenster zu sind.

Can I use nachprüfen or checken in this context? What is the difference between nachprüfen, checken and kontrollieren?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would say in the context you have given "nachprüfen/kontollieren" mean the same. "checken" is a new expression, probably only used by the younger generation. And it would be felt as an English foreign body in German by the older generations.

share|improve this answer
So, you're suggesting that "Ich muss mal das Haus nachprüfen" is fine? Is that really what you would say? I really doubt that. – Em1 Apr 29 '14 at 10:05
I think the context was: Ich muß mal nachprüfen/kontrollieren, ob alle Fenster geschlossen sind. And both verbs are fine for me. – rogermue Apr 29 '14 at 10:14
Then say that. From your answer that's not clear. Not at all. OP's sentence is different from what you're phrasing and as long as you do not make that clear, it's not obvious what you're having in mind. – Em1 Apr 29 '14 at 10:34
from the context of the question it is quite clear – RRZ Europe Apr 29 '14 at 13:28

Checken, derived from the English check, is rather colloquial. You wouldn't use it in a formal context, let alone in writing. There are also other meanings:

Ich check das nicht! (I don't understand!)

Ich hab uns zwei Tickets gecheckt. (I managed two get two tickets for us.)

The two other terms, kontrollieren and nachprüfen mean similar things, although there are subtle differences. Kontrollieren is rather neutral: you check something, make sure that everything is in order. A police checkpoint, e.g., would be Straßenkontrolle in German (they'll want to see your driver licence, perhaps check sobriety.)

Nachprüfen, on the other hand, implies that there has been a Vor-Prüfung of sorts, you have an idea, a preconceived notion, a suspicion that you want to check upon. Or, an auditor takes a second look at a company's books, making sure that book-keeping is in order; things like that.

share|improve this answer
Probably a cultural/regional difference, but I always felt like 'kontrollieren' had very negative and authoritative connotations. Think 'Kontrollwahn'/'Kontrollfreak' etc. 'Nachprüfen' on the other hand is (to me) quite harmless. As I understood it as 'noch einmal (nach dem Ersteller) prüfen', like in school. – LarissaGodzilla Apr 29 '14 at 7:30

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.