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I was reading a book and came across the phrase "es reut mich". I am not familiar with the conjugated word of "reut". I understand the phrase to mean "it pains me," but what does it really mean?

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It means "to regret/to feel remorse".

Note that "reuen" is not used in spoken or written language anymore. Nowadays you would use "(etw.) bereuen".

  • Still used: books.google.com/ngrams/… – Takkat Jul 29 '14 at 6:41
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    It may still be used occasionally, but it has a distinctly oldfashioned touch to it. You might encounter it when listening to funeral speaches, preachers in church etc. – Hulk Jul 29 '14 at 10:57
  • Thank you. The book I was reading is written in older fashioned language. Also +1 for giving the equivalent word for today's usage. – Fred Jul 29 '14 at 17:33
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    I heard it said some times (admittedly from older generations) in switzerland. I cannot say, though, if it is generally more common there or if it is considered oldfashioned there, too. – Burki Mar 24 '15 at 15:13

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