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What is the difference between realisieren, merken and bemerken?

Als ich im Park spazierenging, realisierte/merkte/bermerkte ich, dass die Sonne unterging.

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possible duplicate of Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen "bemerken" und "merken"? – Emanuel Dec 26 '13 at 23:24
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Actually, you can use all of them. You use realisieren when you suddenly notice someting although it was there before. merken/bemerken is more like watch something happening. One thing to edit: if you use als, realizing something appears to be a consequence. In this case, you may better use während (during).

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  1. merken: to feel something, to notice something or someone
  2. bemerken: to notice a change of the current situation
  3. realisieren: understanding a fact

So all of them can be used, personally I'd go for bemerkte.

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