German speakers do not “put” everything…

The Economist’s blog on issues of language, politics, etc. has a witty entry on the differences between English and Germanic irregular verbs. I like the end especially:

Worse, German, Dutch and Danish don’t usually use catch-all verbs that save English-speakers a lot of trouble. Take put. We can put a book on a table, put a candlestick next to it, and put a picture on the wall. A German-speaker must legen a flat thing on the table, stellen a tall thin thing, and hängen a picture on the wall. Similar for Danish and Dutch. Once in place, these objects can’t usually justbe there: a German book must liegen, a candlestick must stehen and a picture must hängen.


Hey, that’s the beauty of it all, right? Read more:


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