Some verbs in German can be both separable and inseparable and it depends on the the meaning of the sentence that you want to say, verbs like "durchlaufen", "umfahren", "umkleiden", "durchschauen". Is there a way to know the different meanings for those verbs or a site or a dictionary, because i use dict.cc and Wiktionary and sometimes they don't show that the verb can be in two conditions or they don't show the different meanings.

  • 1
    But with these 4 examples dict.cc marks them.
    – mic
    Apr 9, 2020 at 13:07
  • My mistake because i wrote them quickly as an example for the kind of verbs i'm talking about, but also with verbs like "umgeben" and "unterstützen" it doesn't differentiate between them or it's there somewhere and i don't see it i guess.
    – Abdulrhman
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


Any good dictionary will differentiate those verbs in some way. Using durchschauen as an example.

The German Wiktionary labels them as trennbar or untrennbar: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/durchschauen

DWDS says Präsens: schaut durch and Präsens: durchschaut. https://www.dwds.de/wb/durchschauen

Duden uses two separate entries that link to each other: https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/durchschauen_hindurchsehen_durchblicken and https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/durchschauen_erkennen_verstehen.

In addition, the past participle may be used to differentiate: durchgeschaut versus durchschaut.

If an indication of stress is given, that would also work: [ˈdʊʁçˌʃaʊ̯ən] versus [dʊʁçˈʃaʊ̯ən], with ' marking the syllable with primary stress. Dict.cc uses [' – – –] and [– ' – –]. (Or you could listen to the pronunciations, which would be really good practice. ) https://www.dict.cc/?s=durchschauen


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