It seems that senden, schicken, and verschicken all mean "to send" in some way. Senden is a little easier to distinguish since schicken and verschicken both share the definition "to dispatch," but what really is the proper use case for these words? For example, when uploading a photo to Instagram, my phone says "Wird gesendet." However, I would suspect that "to dispatch" might be a little more appropriate than "to send" in this case. So why not schicken or verschicken?


2 Answers 2


To me, "senden" has a duration, in particular when talking about radio or Internet, but also to some extent when talking about letters (meaning that it takes a while until they reach you).

"Schicken" (and "verschicken") on the other hand gives more the impression of a one-time action, like posting a letter into a mailbox.

But the lines are quite blurry between the two and often they are interchangeable ("wird verschickt" in your example sounds perfectly fine to me), while in some instances their use is idiomatic.

  • 3
    +1 for duration. For the prefix ver- see also this question about umziehen und verziehen. Note that the thing you dispatch is always a Sendung :)
    – Harald
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 15:19
  • I cannot understand this "duration" distinction at all. "Posting a letter" and "sending an email" are one time-actions and, in both cases, it takes some time until the content arrives. Could somebody explain it better? Commented May 8, 2019 at 15:25

"Senden" has a somewhat technical meaning, it is often used in the context of a radio or wireless transmission. It is certainly appropiate in the context of a smartphone.

  • I have read in my German textbook: "Soll ich Ihnen noch eine Bestätigung senden?". I suppose this could refer to sending a letter or an email. I suppose "senden" could be replaced by "schicken" in this sentence without any change in meaning? Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 0:51

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