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Suppose someone sent me some item. It was supposed to be delivered by now but it is undelivered. When complaining about that, I want to say: “I am here to complain about non- delivered items.”

Can I use all these verbs alternatively?

Ich bin hier, um mich über nicht gelieferte Artikel zu beschweren.

Ich bin hier, um mich über nicht weggeschickte Artikel zu beschweren.

Ich bin hier, um mich über nicht angekommene Artikel zu beschweren.

I am not sure whether using such a perfect verb before a noun is the right thing.

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  • Some more background, as what you learned from the dictionary and which aspects you are unsure about helps to get more directed answers.
    – guidot
    Mar 16, 2022 at 16:25

2 Answers 2

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Those three verbs have related, but different meanings:

"Liefern" can be translated as "to deliver". It encompasses the whole range, so to speak, from the sending to the receiving.

"Wegschicken" can be translated as "to send away". In the context of a delivery it would be quite casual. In a business context, I'd rather use "abschicken" ("to send off" or "to send on its way"). Both, "webschicken" and "abschicken", only refer to the sending and say nothing about the receiving.

"Ankommen" can be translated as "to arrive". This verb, on the other hand, refers to the receiving or the arrival of the goods and says nothing about the sending. More technically, you could distinguish between "ankommen" and "erhalten" ("to receive"). Because the goods could have arrived at your place, but you didn't receive them (because the postal service put the package behind the shed or something).

So, which verb you use depends on what exactly you want to complain about: Did the goods not get delivered? Did the merchant not send them off? Did you not receive them?

As a side note, you're missing an "e" with each three: It's "nicht gelieferte Artikel", "nicht weggeschickte / abgeschickte Artikel", "nicht angekommene Artikel".

EDIT: Another side note that I didn't notice when I wrote the original answer, "sich beschweren" is used reflexively:

Ich bin hier, um mich über ... zu beschweren.

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  • I went ahead and filled in the missing "e's" and the missing umlauts. (The reason they're needed is that the participles are used as adjectives here, and adjectives before nouns must be declined.) Wegschicken seems wrong in context and should definitely be replaced with abschicken. My impression is that weg- means "away" with no specific destination. Meanwhile ab- is more like "off" where there is a destination in mind.
    – RDBury
    Mar 16, 2022 at 11:43
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Some considerations:

I would strongly recommend, not to use nicht weggeschickt/abgeschickt/versendet, since it may border to suggest intended fraud. You are also unlikely to have reliable knowledge concerning the senders shipments.

If the parcel did not arrive, there are lots of other reasons like misspelt or incomplete address, logistic problems, etc. which are more difficult to analyse.


Ich bin hier may be correct, but not very idiomatic. You could consider:

Ich möchte eine verloren gegangene Sendung reklamieren

or even more open:

Ich habe Ihre Sendung bis heute/zum 5. Januar noch nicht erhalten

upon which the vendor will likely start to prove their shipment.


A legal aspect may also be relevant: If the sender is a company, the risk of shipment is on their side according to German law (BGB §. 474, §. 446)

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