Those two words vorlesen and mitlesen both mean to read in english. What is the difference?.


  • Lies den Brief noch einmal vor!

  • Lesen Sie mit!

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vorlesen → to read (out) aloud; to read to sb.
mitlesen → to read along

Source: any dictionary (see, e.g., this and that entry at www.dict.cc), which is why the question is actually off-topic.


vorlesen means someone reads something for you, for example:

meine Mutter liest mir eine Gutenachtgeschichte vor

mitlesen means read together with someone, for example:

in der Schule lesen wir das Gedicht mit dem Lehrer mit


Those two words vorlesen and mitlesen both mean to read in english. What is the difference?

The best answer I can give you without seeing some concrete context sentences is

  • vorlesen means to read and speak out loud what you're at at the same time
  • mitlesen means to listen and read at the same time what you're hearing

The difference of vorlesen and mitlesen is in the different situation and can be explained by the different meanings of the prefixes vor- and mit-

It is the same difference as :vormachen / mitmachen or vorspielen / mitspielen.

In all 3 situations

the prefix vor- means to show / to demonstrate / to performe something to someone.

It will be always be aloud in font of a public or audience, except someone is reading aloud read aloud to himself,

the prefix mit- means to join / take part in something.

  • 1
    Das lässt sich aber nicht verallgemeinern. Ein Gegenbeispiel wäre vornehmen / mitnehmen. – Björn Friedrich Jan 30 at 15:31
  • da hast du recht. darum habe ich nur diese drei Bsp. genommen, die mit einer performance zusammen hängen. – Albrecht Hügli Jan 30 at 15:54
  • Sie können ja dazu schreiben, dass es Ausnahmen gibt. – Björn Friedrich Jan 30 at 16:11

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