As i see in the dictionary, they are related to the "stehen" that is translated "to stand". is there a difference between those three words? or they simply replacing each other under certain circumstances?


Können Sie noch ein Kinderbett in das Zimmer stellen?

Sie können Ihr Fahhrad im Keller abstellen.

Lisa stellt die Bücher auf dem Tisch auf.


3 Answers 3


Können Sie noch ein Kinderbett in das Zimmer stellen? Means: Can you put another child bed into this room.

Sie können Ihr Fahhrad im Keller abstellen. Means: You can put your Bike into the cellar.

Lisa stellt die Bücher auf dem Tisch auf. Means: Lisa puts the Books in the desk.

There isn't a Englisch word for each of them I think.


"Abstellen" is explained here (abstellen/absetzen/ablegen), so i won't repeat myself.

Lisa stellt die Bücher auf den Tisch

This is not "aufstellen". This is "[...]auf etwas stellen". "Aufstellen" would directly translate to "to erect", while "etwas auf etwas stellen" would translate to "put sth. on sth." In English, you also use words to define where you put things: "put sth. on(auf)/beside(neben)/below(unter)/above(über)... sth." Same in German.


I'm not sure if it is better to "give the possible dups an answer this question covers and they only touch" or to stick here. So I stick here.

Stellen, Abstellen and Aufstellen have something in common due to "stellen" - and yet they are quite different. They might replace each other - but only figurativly.

The difference comes with every prefix and suffix and with the addition of something / someone / somewhere / direction / time / relation / literal / figurativly ... well, with all aspects a sentence can offer.

I try to transform the different translations to show their figurativly connection. DWDS provides various examples. I picked some with lesser surrounding words to point out the vast variety of meaning while similarity exists.


  • put sth on a specific place and have it somehow "upright"
  • to catch so. (could be transformed into "you put yourself next to him/her")
  • to force so. to stop (like catch so. just not being already next to him/her)
  • to put so. into trial (could be transformed into "announce that so. has to be put in front of a court)


  • turn something off
  • put sth somewhere so it is not carried any longer (could be transformed into "turn a carriage duty off")
  • to decide that so. has to do a different task (could be transformed into "turn current duty off to be free for another already named duty")
  • remove / stop a problem (could be transformed into "you turn the problem's existence off")
  • to relate a theory an a different base, like in law where you "darauf abstellen, dass ein Sachmangel vorlag" [take into account that there was already a deficiency] (could be turned into "you turn further arguments about this topic off due to already having an explained base)


  • to erect sth somewhere: a sign on a field, a
  • to be announced as a candidate/ position, e.g for an election (could be transformed to "erect a list with names on it")
  • you could "ein Verbot aufstellen" (could be transformed into "erect a prohibition")
  • you could "create a theory" (could be transformed like the prohibition: in the world of theories, each stands its own ground and can be erased by arguments)
  • you could "create a formation" - that is close to "stellen" since you decide to put sth./ so. on a place while it is not necessary that it is fulfilled immediatly (what "stellen" would)

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