leben vs wohnen



In lesson 10.1 we have the sentences 
"Ich werde hier für ein halbes Jahr leben" "I will live here for half a year"
"Ich werde hier für ein Jahr leben und arbeiten" "I will live  and work here for a year".

I was under the impression that leben means "to live" in the sense of being alive and wohnen means to reside, but apparently there is some overlap.

I found an explanation on youtube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKTXOpD5fe4 but perhaps Rocket German could have a brief comment?

My apologies if it is already explained elsewhere! 


Hallo Peter--252,

Thank you for your question! Both, wohnen and leben mean "to live".

Wohnen is closely related to the noun "die Wohnung" which means "residence" or "apartment". Wohnen means "to live" or "to reside" and is used when talking about your permanent or current living situation:

"Wir wohnen in einem Haus in München." - "We live/reside in a house in Munich."
"Wir wohnen im Moment in einem Hotel." - "We are living in a hotel at the moment."
"Wir wohnen in einer Wohnung in Berlin." - "We live in an apartment in Berlin.

Leben can also be used when talking about your residence and both words can often be used interchangeably. Here are some examples:

"Sie lebt in Berlin." - "She lives in Berlin."
"Er wohnt in Berlin." - "He lives in Berlin."
"Er hat ein Jahr in Deutschland gelebt." - "He lived in Germany for a year."

Leben can also mean "to live" in terms of being alive or existing, for example:

"Lebt er noch?" - "Is he still alive?"
"Es leben über 83 Millionen Menschen in Deutschland." - "Over 83 million people live in Germany."

You might know the swedish furniture store IKEA which uses both words in their slogan 
"Wohnst du noch, oder lebst du schon?" which can be translated as "Are you just living, or are you alive?" or "Are you Living, Or Just Existing?".

I hope this clears things up for you.



Hallo Julia,

Vielen Dank für die Erklärung;  das habe ich mir gedacht!

I thought that was the case but it's good to have it confirmed.


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