Abstellen means turn off or switch off while setzen is to lay or put something. But does this two verbs have same common?


Sie können Ihr Fahrrad im Keller abstellen.


Die Assistentin setzt den Hund auf das Sofa.

closed as off-topic by Carsten S, PiedPiper, Philipp, Hubert Schölnast, Arsak Mar 4 at 16:12

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  • 2
    "Abstellen means turn off or switch off" not in the context of "Sie können Ihr Fahrrad im Keller abstellen." The latter means You can put your bicycle in the basement. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 1 at 16:47
  • 4
    Please do a proper dictionary lookup of the words before asking. – Carsten S Mar 1 at 16:50
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    What do you mean by have same common? – Philipp Mar 2 at 8:07

"etwas abstellen" can either mean to turn something off or put something in someplace where it can 'stand'. "stellen/aufstellen/abstellen" is related to "stehen" which translate to "to stand". So what's the thing about abstellen?
Ich stelle mein Fahrrad ab -> correct, as it stands in someplace after you do it
Ich stelle die Kisten dort ab -> correct, as they can stand
Ich stelle das Blatt Papier hier ab -> incorrect, a sheet of papier lays somewhere and does not stand. The correct use would be:
Ich lege das Blatt Papier hier ab -> ablegen/legen means something lays "absetzen" is from "setzen" -> 'to sit'. If something can sit, you can use "absetzen".

So now again in short:
If the Object can sit, you can use "absetzen"
If the Object can stand, you can use "abstellen"
If the Object can lay, you can use "ablegen"

  • 1
    Quite good answer, just one small addition: if it is a person you drop of somewhere after giving him/her a lift, you always use "absetzen", even though a person can also stand or lay – Volker Landgraf Mar 1 at 17:10
  • Yes, good addition. I'm sure there are a few more exceptions to this rule, but in most cases it applies. – miep Mar 1 at 17:12
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    @VolkerLandgraf Indeed, in that example abstellen would suggest the person is like a mannequin or dummy and ablegen sounds as if you want to dispose of a dead body. – Hagen von Eitzen Mar 2 at 7:29

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