Wiktionary lists the following meanings for the words raten and erraten in the sense "to guess":
- raten: "versuchen, eine Antwort zu finden"
- erraten: "die Antwort auf eine Frage ohne die Antwort zu wissen, richtig beantworten"
I find this distinction often is difficult to make. For example, which word would be the best for the following sentences?
- "Can you guess?" -- Does this ask whether you are capable of guessing (raten) or have a chance to guess right (erraten)?
- "Guess!" -- Is this a command to guess (raten) or a command to guess right (erraten)?
- "He made a guess." -- Would this depend on whether the narrator knows the answer to the question?
- "I thought you would never guess." -- Feels like raten and erraten would yield different meanings: "... never try to guess" (raten) and "... never get it right" (erraten).
Could someone explain the difference in another way?