1

If one were to describe that the "cancer had spread throughout the body", would that be:

Der Krebs hatte hat überall gestreut

Der Krebs hatte sich überall den Körper verbreitet

Der Krebs hatte sich im Körper ausgebreitet

Could you use all three verbs to describe the spread of cancer, and if not, what would be the situations where one would use them?

ie the distribution of wealth?

ie the spreading of a meme on the internet?

ie the spread of the swine flu around the world?

2

Well first of all from the three different attempts you have made the third one is the correct one.

Der Krebs hatte sich im Körper ausgebreitet.

If you want to go one step further you could also use:

Der Krebs hatte sich im ganzen Körper ausgebreitet. (added throughout)

Concerning the other two versions:

Der Krebs hatte überall gestreut. (without the "hat" - you dont need that because you already say "hatte")

Even though this is grammatically correct in my opinion the third option you named is the most natural one. You can however, use gestreut to say that the cancer hat spread.

Der Krebs hatte sich überall den Körper verbreitet.

This version is wrong even though you could use "verbreitet".

Der Krebs hatte sich überall im Körper verbreitet.

or

Der Krebs hatte sich über den gesamten (or ganzen) Körper verbreitet.


the distribution of wealth:

Die Aufteilung von Wohlstand.

You could use "Verbreitung" here however I would not consider that to be the natural way of saying that. Though wealth does not literally spread it is more of how the wealth is distributed. That's why I would use "Aufteilung" here.

the spreading of a meme on the internet:

Die Verbreitung eines memes im Internet.

the spread of the swine flu around the world:

Die Verbreitung der Schweinegrippe auf der ganzen Welt.

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    I think "Der Krebs hat (überall) gestreut" is a very common use, too. And also correct. – christian.s Jan 22 '14 at 8:28
  • Indeed a complete answer would have to discuss the use of streuen. – Carsten S Jan 22 '14 at 9:35
  • Can you please elaborate on what you mean by discussing Streuen? – user5105 Jan 22 '14 at 23:43

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