The two verbs have the same meaning which is to drip. I tried to formulate two examples and I want to verify if I used them correctly.

  1. Das Wasser tropft (dauernd) die ganze Zeit.
  2. Ich tröpfle eine kleine Menge der Tinktur auf meinen Nagel.
  • For 2., "träufeln" might be the better choice.
    – Stephie
    Oct 9, 2017 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


"tröpfeln" belongs to a subclass of verbs called "Iterativa". They put emphasis on a repeating action and often have the additional meaning of a certain smallness of an action. They can be recognised by -eln, examples are sticheln, tröpfeln, streicheln, trippeln.

When talking about "tröpfeln", you put emphasis on the fact that you put small droplets on your nails, which is right. In 1. it depends whether you just want to tell about drops of water falling all the time or if the drops of water are small.

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