Was ist der Unterschied zwischen überlassen und verlassen? Ist die Bedeutung von überlassen wie surrender im Englischen und von verlassen wie leave sommething behind?

Die Frage ist mir bei folgendem Satz aus Heideggers Die Sprache aufgekommen:

Der Sprache überlassen wir das Sprechen.

Ich habe mich gefragt, warum er überlassen und nicht verlassen schreibt.


überlassen takes two objects:

jemandem (=Dativ) etwas/jemanden (=Akkusativ) überlassen

It means to leave something/somebody to someone. Überlassen can be used if something is left out of surrender/capitulation (Die Burg wurde den Angreifern überlassen) or if you grant someone something (Ich habe den letzten Schokoriegel meiner Schwester überlassen).

verlassen only takes one object:

etwas/jemanden (=Akkusativ) verlassen

It means to leave something/someone (physically); to go away. For example the Schokoriegel is left to my sister, but I do not leave it physically. I sit there besides it on the couch the whole time until it is eaten :-)

There are some cases where you could use both. For example you leave the castle to the invaders (überlassen) by leaving it (verlassen). But you do not leave the chocolate bar to your sister (überlassen) by leaving it (verlassen).

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    Don't forget: Es verlassen ihn die Kräfte. or: Er ist von allen guten Geistern verlassen. – Andie2302 Aug 22 '14 at 21:10
  • No need to forget them^^: They are a figurative use of "etwas/jemanden verlassen". Die Kräfte verlassen ihn. = They go away. Die guten Geister verlassen ihn. = They go away. – Chris Aug 22 '14 at 21:14
  • What about: Das Haus ist verlassen? – Andie2302 Aug 22 '14 at 21:29
  • That's a passive construction (Zustandspassiv): "Jemand verlässt das Haus(=Akk.)."(=going away aspect). "Das Haus (=Nom.) ist verlassen." The same in passive without acting person. -- Maybe I don't get your point and what you miss in my answer. :-) – Chris Aug 22 '14 at 21:41

The verb "überlassen" means to "leave" to, in the sense of leave something to someone. "Verlassen" means to leave (go away) from (somewhere).

They both use the verb "lassen" (leave), but otherwise have very different, almost opposite meanings.

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In some cases, this words can be translated synonymous. This is a trap, because in other context the meaning is pretty different.

"Der Sprache überlassen wir das Sprechen" can be found in lyrics only. It might similar to "Wir überlassen Mike das Sprechen." This means we are a group and we decide Mike is speaking for us. But there is a pronounciation required to get the real meaning. There is something more: "Soll sich doch die Sprache mit dem Sprechen befassen. Es ist uns egal." I´m not able to translate to English well. I try. 'We don´t care about speaking. The language can do it."

Jemandem etwas überlassen Is in the common language used while giving something to someone without getting/expecting/want something appropriate back. The motivation might be empathy, capitulation, dont care or even to expect something in future. In the legal point of view 'Überlassung' means every variation of providing a thing to someone else without loosing the ownership (e.g. borrow, to let). This might be with or without a reward. Examples: 1. Ich habe ihm für den Heimweg meinen Regenschirm überlassen. - The umbrella is just borrowed. empathy 2. Ich habe dem Penner meinen Mantel überlassen. - The tramp gets the coat for free. empathy 3. Er hat seiner Frau die Kinder überlassen. - The father abandomed the legal right to take care for the kids during devorce. surrender 4. sich selbst überlassen. - to be left to oneself. dont care

verlassen is used in multiple meanings and contextes. 1. Jemand verlässt (verlassen) das Gebäude/ das Gespräch/ das Flugzeug. Someone is leaving a conversation or a building or similar. 2. Jemand verlässt die Firma. - someone is not working for the company any longer 3. Das Büro wurde verlassen. - The office (building) is abandomed. It is empty or obviously not in use anymore 4. Er hat sich auf den Fahrplan verlassen. - He relied on the time-table. 5. Er hat seine Frau verlassen. He forsaken his wife. (is this correct English?)

There are more words based on 'lassen' they all have different and some multiple meanings. examples: zulassen, ablassen, anlassen, entlassen, gelassen (adj)

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