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“To behave/act” Verbs


I. Theory

In German, there are several verbs that correspond to the English verbs “to behave” and “to act.” In general, verb choice depends on the context or who is doing the action.

Als Kind wollte ich immer auf der Bühne auftreten.
As a kid, I always wanted to act (perform) on stage.


Wir müssen jetzt handeln, um das Problem zu lösen.
We must act now to solve the problem.


Meine Schwester benimmt sich nicht in der Schule.
My sister doesn’t behave at school.


Mein Computer verhält sich heute seltsam.
My computer is acting strange today.

II. Verbs that convey “to act” or “to behave”

This lesson will focus on 4 verbs (sich verhalten, sich benehmen, handeln, and auftreten) Note that most of these verbs have other meanings in additional meanings in other contexts.

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