I'm confused by the use of word heraus in the following sentence:

Dann entscheiden Sie aus der Situation heraus, wen Sie wem zuerst vorstellen.

What is the role of this word here? I noticed that dict.cc entry for English out of gives its translation as aus … (heraus). Does it mean that heraus is optional here and can be dropped from the sentence? Or would it be wrong for some reason?

  • Since what you are actually asking about is the phrase aus der Situation heraus, I shortened your title accordingly.
    – Jan
    Oct 11, 2016 at 20:19
  • Thanks, I was not sure if the context is important or not here. Oct 11, 2016 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


It's a particle. The sentence has the same meaning without heraus, because aus already means out of.

Those particles can be confusing first but as soon you know the pairs (aus/heraus, in/hinein, durch/hindurch, über/hinüber, auf/hinauf, unter/drunter etc.) they can be quite helpful when listening to German. The crucial information is doubled.

People giving you directions are often going to use them to help you remember the way.

You don't have to use particles in your own speech but doing so will immediately make you sound more German. Just don't overdo it.

  • 1
    You can also add um/herum to your list. Oct 12, 2016 at 8:32
  • 2
    in/drin (lit. in, as opposed to in/hinein which is into) also comes to mind. And heraus may be shortened to raus. Some dialects shorten the hin, too, so e.g. hinauf becomes 'nauf. The type and amount of particle use and shortening is a marker for dialects and sociolects. No particles -> foreigner.
    – Janka
    Oct 12, 2016 at 9:21

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