What are all the
hercontractions people use? z.B.
rauf, usw. Is it as simple as every
her-preposition, or is it more of a subset? What about
hin? For instance, I've seen
nüberbut can't find much documentation on it online. I realize this may be regional.
In which situations / settings are they used? Only spoken / informal?
Even in such settings, are there places that you would still use the full word (z.B.
heraus) rather than the contraction form? Or is it pretty much if you're going to use the contractions you use them every time?
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Only "her" can be contracted to "r" if it is a prefix:
This is not allowed:
Contactions following the same pattern with "hin" are used less frequently. I also think the words "nauf", "nunter", "naus" and "nüber" are only used in southern parts of Germany. They are very rarely used in Austria and I guess that this is true for northern parts of Germany too. I never heard "nein" as contraction of "hinein".
How to use the “hin” and “her” prefixes? provides pretty good information, but I'll try to provide you with a better “feel” for it nevertheless.
The German terms you mention are mostly used in similar way as you would use them in English...
The word “raus” could be used with “rein” the same way you would use the English:
And yes, there are situations where you wouldn't use contradictions (just like you wouldn't use them in English). An example:
Now, here are some examples where “heraus” is frequently used, but please note that these lines are only used colloquially:
Last but not least:
You're absolutely correct in thinking that most of the time, you'll end up using the contraction form instead of the full words… as the above examples show. Sure, you could use “Finde es herraus!” instead of “Finde es raus!”; but in the end, the later is more natural and used more often. Using the prepositions is more of a remnant of the older German language use.