I'm not sure if "verschieben von" means "deleting the original and move it" or just "making a copy"

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    The title and the content of your question are confusing. What exactly do you want to know? – 5pike Feb 11 '15 at 10:18
  • Sounds like a computer user's question? German interface? Yes, "verschieben" means to move from one place to another without retaining a copy at the original place. – Stephie Feb 11 '15 at 11:03
  • verschieben means move. von A nach B means from A to B. aus A nach B means something like from within A to B, aus A implies that the object could be said to have been inside A before. – peter Feb 11 '15 at 11:33
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    How is this unclear? – user6191 Feb 12 '15 at 8:28
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    @Grantwalzer: To begin with, there is a different question in the title and the body of the question – Wrzlprmft Feb 13 '15 at 9:11

Those two options are not so different semantically as to be able to tell what the GUI translator thought would happen to the document in question. To answer your basic question in the first place:

Neither "verschieben aus" nor "verschieben von" means "deleting the original and moving it" or "making a copy".

"Verschieben" in the meaning "to move something" (there are other meanings, like postpone or, done by criminals, traffic in sth.) just indicates an object being moved. The object itself remains intact, but as the same object can't be on two locations at the same time (we don't talk quantum physics here), this implicates the moved object can no longer be on its original location. The prepositions "von", "aus" and "nach" may tell you the initial and the target location.

What happens to a virtual object being moved from one directory to another is completely up to your computers OS. I'm not so familiar with current Windows versions, but on a Mac, a document is usually deleted from the previous location if moved to another one, save you move it to a separate medium; in that case, it's duplicated. On previous Windows versions, you had to either copy or cut it from the original location, only in the latter case deleting it from its initial position.

If you use "Verschieben" as a noun, the preposition "von" rather relates to the object which is being moved:

Das Verschieben von Containern im Laderaum während der Fahrt ist verboten

With the verb "verschieben", "von" is more often used when indicating a time delay, combined with "auf":

Wir müssen den Termin leider vom 03.02. auf den 05.02. verschieben.

"Verschieben aus" more often relates to a change of location, preferably combined with or "in":

Das Klavier verschieben wir aus dem Wohnzimmer in die Bibliothek.

But "aus" as well as "in" (in the sense of "into") also implies three-dimensional containments. "Von" and "nach", on the other hand, create a more abstract context giving the notion of something or somebody moving from A to B, like on a map:

Wir sind gestern von Paris nach Brüssel gefahren.

As the premises on a computer are quite the same giving the user the illusion of commanding a graphic desktop. If a file is in the "Aktuell" directory and should be moved to a directory named "Ablage", we could either say:

Wollen Sie die Datei XY von "Aktuell" nach "Ablage" verschieben?


Wollen Sie die Datei XY aus dem Ordner "Aktuell" in das Verzeichnis "Ablage" verschieben?


von A nach B verschieben = aus A nach B verschieben

They both mean "move from A to B". In the context of a computer that means:

Copy from A to B; Delete A;

  • no. verschieben means move. in a computer context it might be implemented by copy then delete. – peter Feb 11 '15 at 11:30
  • That's what I meant. Sorry, the question is quite unclear. – Benjoyo Feb 11 '15 at 11:33
  • von != aus, sorry. Even in computer terms, they mean different things. Von A nach B verschieben could be from one folder to another or from one harddisk to another or even from one device to another. Aus A nach B verschieben would never be used in terms of from one disk/device to the other, but only for folders, as they are considered containers that have something inside. – Thorsten Dittmar Feb 11 '15 at 16:16

It is not the same in general.

Move something from one table to the other table.

would be

Etwas von einem Tisch auf den anderen Tisch verschieben


Etwas aus einem Tisch nach/auf/in dem anderen Tisch verschieben

would be wrong, cos it is on top of the table, not inside the table. To use nach is wrong anytime. You could say auf for on top or in the case you really have something to get out of one and inside another table, it would be in

verschieben aus

always means out of something.

verschieben von

is used instead, but maybe wouldn't be as specific as verschieben aus.
For example, in the context of a grabge can (Mülleimer), von could mean from the inside, as well as from the top of its lid, but aus could only mean from the inside.

  • Can you please explain or reference why "To use nach is wrong anytime."? – zsawyer Feb 11 '15 at 23:26
  • Note that this refers to the process of moving files on a computer. – user6191 Feb 12 '15 at 8:27

Semantically there is very little difference in the usage of aus or von. Both can be used as synonyms in most contexts.

verschieben aus

This is used when we move an item out of a container or similar in the wider sense to some other place. This could be anything from a cardbord box to a folder on our computer's hard drive.

verschieben von

This indicates a location not necessarily being a container (but it can be used with a container location too). Hence whenever we move something from one location to another we may use von. In a computational context we could describe this as a movement of data along the hard drive's sectors, or any other location (includign a folder).


There are - depending on context - two ways to interpret verschieben von X nach Y:

  1. verschieben von [Objekt] X nach [Ort] Y can mean that an object X itself is being moved to a location Y. In this case the origin of the move is omitted.

  2. verschieben [eines Objekts A] von [Ort] X nach [Ort] Y would tell you about a move of an omitted object A from location X to location Y.

verschieben aus [Ort] X nach [Ort] Y only allows the interpretation similar to #2.

The most precise phrase would be verschieben von Objekt A aus [Ort] X nach [Ort] Y. That should leave no room for interpretation: move object A from location X to location Y

In any case the word verschieben indicates a move and will result in only one instance of the object in question, and only at location Y.

Specifically in computer science move operations are dependent on the implementation, most common is:

  • a copy is created and then the original deleted
  • only the pointer's are changed the object itself stays untouched

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