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?

1 Answer 1


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, 2014 at 6:41
  • 3
    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, 2014 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, 2014 at 17:33
  • 2
    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, 2015 at 15:13
  • +1 for Switzerland. I remember a Swiss lady who ordered a tea in a café, and got a teabag and a cup of hot water which was filled only halfway, and she argued: "Reut Sie das Wasser?"
    – Robin
    Jan 17, 2022 at 14:07

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