What is the difference between "vergleichen" and "sich vergleichen"?

There are two meanings of the word which are "compare" and "arrange and settle". I want to know about both the differences.

  • The latter is used in legal contexts – Gerhard Apr 17 '16 at 6:35
  • In order for us to not get in the wrong foot. You mean the arrange and settle or both of the sich vergleichen – user21269 Apr 17 '16 at 6:56
  • I meant the translation of "arrange and settle" for "sich vergleichen" – Gerhard Apr 17 '16 at 8:32

The meanings are basically the same. Use vergleichen if someone compares two things, not including themselves:

Er vergleicht das neue Samsung-Smartphone mit dem iPhone.

Er vergleicht sein Testergebnis mit dem Ergebnis seines Nachbarn.

Use sich vergleichen if someone compares themselves with something else:

Er vergleicht sich mit seinem Boss. Sein Boss hat eine bessere Konzentrationsfähigkeit.

Sie vergleichen sich und stellen fest, dass Karl der größte ist.

  • 1
    This answer does not cover the "arrange and settle" meaning, i.e. "sich vergleichen" in the sense of "einen Vergleich schließen". – Carsten S Apr 19 '16 at 16:34
  • As a native speaker, I have never seen it used as this, except in translations of American legal texts or stories... Yes it can be used this way, but in most cases, you should use "sich einigen" instead. – sylar_5 Apr 19 '16 at 17:47

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