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how to find the root and stem of a german word, and its other derivatives?


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I’m Biff, a Chinese university student of architecture, learning German.

I really want to consult you for something about the word formation in German language. (exactly it’s about study methods.)

There’s a problem troubling me:

When I come to a German word, how can I know the root and stem of it, as well as the other words which based on the same root?

(the following example is only my personal assumption)

For example, abwenden. It seems that its stem is “wend” and its root is “w-nd”, and maybe form the same root there’s the stem “wand” and from this stem we can find verwandeln.

I hope I can do this in a reliable, systematic, convenient way. (a software or website, but a dictionary or book will do as well. Even written all in German is welcome.)

Would you let me know If there’s such a method?

How does such an idea comes to me?

When I studied English, I used a software named金山词霸(Kingsoft PowerWord) .

It contains some data of several English-Chinese dictionaries, and one of them is The American Heritage Dictionary. And this dictionary told me the morphology source of every single term.

For example: grasp.


And then I look up “ghrebh-“, it shows:


It seems like something about the Proto-Indo-European language system.

A thing like this helps me a lot in language study. So I wonder if there’s a German-English software or dictionary that has the similar function.

Thank you!

Wish you are happy and healthy!

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Hey there, 你好

If you are just about morphological info, you should have a look at the GERTWOL Tool. Just type any kind of  word in the search bar and you will get all the morphological info about it (stem + Suffix, etc).


If you would like to get etymological info about words, please have a look at the Grimm Dictionary. It has been digitalised recently and you can access it online and it is FREE of charge.

This is the direct link to this amazing resource:


如果你还有问题的话,就要问我了。 :grin:

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Dear friends,

I think I’ve found the tools I need on the internet. Their website is:


It has got some Etymological Databases, and the edit software star4win. With the software’s help I can convert the databases into .xls form so that it would be much easier to edit.

the Attachment is the .xls i use now.

It will help those who are interested in the Etymological of any languange.

Wish it will help you as well.

Thanks for your attention!

and thanks for linguaholic's information!~


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