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erlernen is an interesting derivation of lernen - or better a "specification". While lernen can be used to express learning pretty much anything, erlernen is almost exclusively used with regard to learning a skill or job and thus also implies a certain level of complexity of the subject that has been learned. (The term x-handwerk is also used very often in ...


In this case the difference is not related to tenses. Erlernen and lernen are two different verbs. More often than not er can be identified with a (non-separable) prefix that implies to do the things until the goal is reached ("Vorsilbe, die eine zielgerichtete Handlung ausdr├╝ckt"). Hence, erlernen is to learn something until you master it, while lernen ...

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