Forum Rocket German German Vocab 'Gebrauchen' and 'benutzen'

'Gebrauchen' and 'benutzen'



Hallo Nathalie, I am here for the first time and really enjoying 'Raketenartiges Deutsch'! Please explain the difference between 'gebrauchen' and 'benutzen' and when does one use the one or the other. Vielen Dank, Bennie

Hi there, often the differences are only very subtle, so I'll give you some examples: Das alte Fahrrad kann ich gut gebrauchen - the old bike is of good use to me ("gebrauchen" meaning: it is handy to have) Er ist nicht zu gebrauchen - He is absolutely useless. Kannst du das gebrauchen? Can you make use of that? Ich könnte ein paar freie Tage gut gebrauchen - I could do with a few days off. Ich gehe zum Gebrauchtwagenhändler - I'm going to the second hand car dealer. ("gebraucht" meaning: it is already used) Ich benutze nur Seife mit Teebaumöl - I only use soap with teatree oil. Sie hat ihn benutzt - She used him Ich benutze öffentliche Verkehrsmittel regelmäßig - I use public transport regulary. "gebrauchen" contains the verb "brauchen" (to need) and the meaning often implies that it is something you need or something you can make use of. "benutzen" refers more to the actual usage. I hope that makes more sense. Let me know if you need more explanations.

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