I can say

Ich möchte mein Zimmer reinigen

but I can also say

Ich möchte mein Zimmer bereinigen

What is the difference?

  • 5
    Have you consulted a dictionary already for the difference between "reinigen" und "bereinigen" ? – a_donda Apr 7 '20 at 18:29


Sort out something that's upset you, sort out ("Settle an argument")


Remove dirt, stains or similar from something (clean something, clean up)


But you can't say "... mein Zimmer bereinigen" (as far as I know). You can clean (reinigen) your room, or clean up (aufräumen) the room.

In German duden "bereinigen" is defined as follows:

  • einen Streitfall bereinigen (schlichten)
  • eine bereinigte (korrigierte) Ausgabe eines Buches
  • die Rechnung haben wir um Sondereffekte bereinigt (wir haben die Sondereffekte herausgerechnet)

So "bereinigen" has nothing to do with cleaning or similar.

  • Please consider a link to Duden's entry to give room for further reading. Including Duden's content was the more important part of the reference. – Shegit Brahm Apr 8 '20 at 6:09
  • I insist that you cannot say "mein Zimmer bereinigen" - well, in Germany you can, doing exactly the definition you brought. Using it I could bereinige mein Zimmer um das Spielzeug. I see no problem in it. It is more figurativly, though. – Shegit Brahm Apr 8 '20 at 6:11
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    @ShegitBrahm "Mein Zimmer von Spielzeug bereinigen." – akuzminykh Apr 8 '20 at 6:15
  • 2
    Just one comment: ein Zimmer bereinigen is a sort of clumsy German sometimes talked by 'Ausländer', whether completed by any (prepositional) object or not. I am German and by no means I can imagine a functional context for the expression. (I didn't try hard drugs, though). Any discussion about it is like a discussion about the appropriateness of the genus of a given German noun. So I don't know what you are talking about here. For me, it's just wrong. Would you say analogously 'den Tisch vom Geschirr bereinigt?' The difference is: 'reinigen' is concrete, 'bereinigen' ist abstract. So, ... – Ralf Joerres Apr 8 '20 at 12:02
  • 1
    ... how do you want to 'bereinigen' a room in an abstract way? – Ralf Joerres Apr 8 '20 at 12:03

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