What would be the difference between Urteilen and Beurteilen?

The translations both seem to be similar and I am aware that the be-prefix adds a sense of the verb inflicted on something.

However I would like to know how they are commonly used and in what context?

  • 6
    Hello and welcome to GermanSE! What dictionaries did you check? urteilen and beurteilen only have to judge as a common translation. Can you specify an example sentence where you are unsure about the translation? Feb 14, 2020 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


urteilen ... is almost exclusively used in the meaning of sentence/decide/rule in connection with court/judge decisions. The object is either of rather general nature, e.g. : Das Gericht urteilte im Fall Müller gegen Meier. or the actual decision is introduced as: Das Gericht urteilte, dass...

In order to express the actual sentence often verurteilen ist used: Das Gericht verurteilte den Angeklagten zu zwei Jahren Gefängnis.

beurteilen ...has the meaning of assess, evaluate, e.g of a situation, a study, an experiment.

  • I agree. What is interesting, though, is that the noun "Urteil", which is the source of both, can also be used in the sense of a personal evaluation: "nach meinem Urteil".
    – Nico
    Feb 14, 2020 at 20:49
  • this is great..! Thank you so much..! Really appreciate this. :)
    – Romi
    Feb 15, 2020 at 19:32

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