What is the difference between "begreifen" and "verstehen". As far as I know they’re both means understand. And what are their usage.

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    Was sagen denn die Wörterbücher? Commented Sep 4, 2021 at 22:21
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    It is appreciated to wait a while before you accept an answer rather than accepting the first written answer right away. This gives other users the opportunity to write their own, possibly even better, answers, and also to discuss whether the first existing answer is actually correct. Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 18:19
  • @O.R.Mapper It was an inappropriate behavior from my side. I’m sorry about not accepting the answer that fast.
    – ipshel
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 20:17
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    I would not expect dictionaries to explain the nuances well. Indeed, I do not find it an easy question.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


A student sitting in the front row of the classroom can understand/hear well what a math teacher is saying.

However, it is not certain that he also comprehends/grasps what the math teacher is saying.

Ein Schüler, der in der ersten Reihe des Klassenzimmers sitzt, kann gut verstehen/hören, was ein Mathematikleher sagt.

Es ist aber nicht sicher, dass er auch begreift, was der Mathematiklehrer sagt.

Funnily enough, however, depending on the context, the noun "Verständnis" refers either to the willingness to find a point of view or a course of action acceptable, or to the ability to easily grasp relationships/implications in certain subject areas.

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    Sorry, this answer is wrong, as it is not that clear-cut. "verstehen" is commonly used in both meanings (while "begreifen" is indeed limited to grasping the information). Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 7:50

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