5 comments on “lernen vs erlernen

  1. Let’s try :

    The er-prefix often gives the word a more divine feel…. so “erlernen” sounds a bit like “more”. This makes it weird in context for, say, a name… as if a name is something that difficult to learn.
    Also, the er-prefix often implies completion. In context with learnen it means that you are done learning. You know it. You achieved mastery kind of. “Lernen” lacks that notion.
    You can “lernen” German for decades without ever “erlernen” it. That said, it should be no surprise that “lernen” is also the translation of to study in the context of sitting in the library or read a textbook.

    • I did 2 hours of studying. would be
    • Ich habe 2 Stunden gerlernt.

    “Erlernen” can’t be used that way.

    And then finally, I think “erlernen” sounds best with nouns, whereas “lernen” can be used for all kinds of things and especially verbs

    • Ich habe gelernt, dass/wie/zu/wo etc…. all this doesn’t sound a bit ‘wrongish’ with “erlernen”.
    • I learned how to/that/where/which etc

    In daily talk “lernen” is way more common and “erlernen” is really limited to a craft or something.

    I hope that helps :)

    • Mark says:

      Hallo!

      Vielen Dank für deine Erklärung. Noch eine Frage zum Kontext.
      Kann mann erlernen in solchen Syntax verwenden:

      “Seit drei Jahren erlerne ich Deutsch” o.A.?

      Persönlich finde ich es falsch oder kommisch, denn aus deinem Komment geht hervor, dass erlernen kein im Flusser Prozess ist, sondern man behauptet, dass etwas erlernt hat, wenn mann schon eine echte Fähigkeit oder so etwas bekommt hat.

      Ist meine Auffasuung richtig?

      • Es klingt wirklich etwas komisch, da “erlernen” das Ergebnis/das Erreichen des Ziels impliziert.

        – Seit 2 Tagen erreiche ich den Bahnhof.

        Das ist extrem merkwürdig. Mit erlernen ist es nicht ganz so extrem, aber trotzdem.

  2. Siegfried says:

    The meaning of “erlernen” is, that you mastered it yourself. A dog for example can’t er-learn a trick, but he can learn it. You didn’t er-learn your mothers tongue, because you didn’t master it, it came naturally by listening to your parents for years. You plain learnt the your language.

    The same goes for all words with er-prefix:

    erlernt
    erarbeitet
    erjagt
    erklettert
    erschlichen
    erbettelt
    erfochten
    erschmeichelt
    erlogen
    erträumt

    It means that whatever you are talking about, didn’t came naturally but your were the driving power behind it.

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