I realise that abbilden and nachbilden mean something similar, i.e. to copy or to reproduce. However, is there a specific context in which it is more appropriate to use one or the other?

  • 1
    Did you try at least an online-translator? This would give you already many hints of the different meaning!
    – IQV
    Jan 12, 2018 at 6:30
  • @IQV: Well, somehow they have to have acquired the English translations.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jan 14, 2018 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


"Abbilden" means more like making a picture of something. "Nachbilden" means more to build something as close to the original as possible.

The result of "Abbilden" is something else that shows the original object, the result of "Nachbilden" is something that should look or feel as close to the original object as possible.

  • Also see die Abbildung (figure) vs. die Nachbildung (replica). But careful about das Abbild, which can again mean both.
    – Janka
    Jan 12, 2018 at 8:32
  • THANKS - I always suspected it was something along those lines. Jan 12, 2018 at 9:25

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