Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the difference between Jdn davon abbringen, etwas zu tun and Jdn davon abhalten, etwas zu tun?

  1. Ich werde dich davon abbringen, von der Brücke zu springen.

  2. Ich werde dich davon abhalten, von der Brücke zu springen.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

abbringen
describes prevention by means of long-term persuasion.

abhalten
describes prevention by means of any short-time action (it usually requires the person to already stand on the bridge).

Both verbs may describe a discussion, but only abhalten may also describe physical intervention or any other action against the will of of the other person.

share|improve this answer
    
actually i disagree with the "abhalten" being not physical. can someone else shed some light? after checking in duden i only felt reassured, but maybe it's just me. –  Vogel612 Dec 2 '13 at 14:47
    
I wrote that abhalten may be physical. Is that what you disagree with? –  flyx Dec 2 '13 at 15:43
1  
no, quite the contrary. i disagree with that it could mean non-physical action. "Both verbs may describe a discussion". I think that it has to mean physical intervention. –  Vogel612 Dec 2 '13 at 15:50
2  
Well, it derives from halten which is a physical action, so I'd say the usage for non-physical actions is metaphorical. An example from the Duden page: sie hielt ihn davon ab, noch mehr zu trinken. I'd interpret this as social rather than physical action. –  flyx Dec 2 '13 at 16:02
    
i'd still interpret this as a physical action. the social counterpart would be, "sie brachte ihn davon ab, / sie überzeugte ihn, nicht noch mehr zu trinken" –  Vogel612 Dec 2 '13 at 16:09
add comment

In my understanding abbringen also includes that you are convinced not to do sth. So I wont jump from the bridge because you convinced me to shoot myself.

Abhalten just made me not to jump. Or you made me miss the bus to a certain bridge. But I will jump tomorrow.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.