Erdulden means "to endure" and dulden "to tolerate" What is the difference in usage and how are they used mainly ?

3 Answers 3


tl, dr: The more one suffers and the less one can do about it, the more erdulden is indicated. If there is either no or only slight negative impact and the person could stop it without or with only minor consequences dulden is the right choice.

Note: This answer is mainly based on my sprachgefühl and the Wiktionary articles on dulden and erdulden.

Dulden and erdudeln are very similiar with only slight differences:

  • In both cases the person who "duldet/erduldet" would be able to do something to but chooses not to. Furthermore the person receives no benefit from the thing happening.

  • In case of dulden: The person chooses not to prevent it as they are not or only slightly negatively impacted.

  • In case of erdulden: Even though the person could prevent it, they choose not to as possibly something more negative would happen otherwise.


  • "Er duldet/erduldet den Hirten und die Schafe auf seiner Wiese"

    • Motivation: Because it is of no use for him and he doesn't care
      • Only Dulden is possible. Erdulden is not possible with this motivation, as there is no negativ impact.
  • Er dudelt/erduldet die unfaire Behandlung durch den Lehrer ohne Widerrede

    • Motivation: Because if he complains nobody would believe him
      • Erdudeln is possible, dudeln does not fit
    • Motivation: Because he does not care about school
      • More likely to use dulden
  • Er dudelt/erdult das Geschrei der spielenden Kinder.

    • Motivation: He doesn't wanna spoil the fun
      • Both is possible, depending on how much he is affected by the noise. Tendency to dulden
    • Motivation: Complaining would result in trouble with the parents.
      • Both is possible. With dulden either the disturbance isn't to strong or the trouble is the parents would not be to severe. With erdulden both, the disturbance and the trouble with the parents would be more severe.
  • Synonyms for dulden: akzeptieren

  • Synonyms for erdulden: ertragen, aushalten


"Erdulden" is more like suffering than tolerating.

  • Do you mean that erdulden can be used as "tolerate" to talk about sth painful or sth difficult Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 22:37
  • Yes I think it would be correct to use it in that way.
    – Nik
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 20:08

Dulden implies consent

Erdulden is more of unwillingly suffering through something.

  • I would question unwillingly and the answer is already quite on the short side.
    – guidot
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 9:49

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