If you check your dictionary for the German noun Schrecken, you’ll see that ‘der Schrecken’ means dread, horror, scare, fright etc…
And if you have scared somebody in German (I mean, if you want to talk about it in German, the action would be the same as anywhere else ☺) you can use the phrase “Ich habe ihm einen Schrecken eingejagt”. Or, if you have been scared by someone or something, you can say “Ich habe einen Schrecken bekommen!”
But there is also a verb ‘schrecken’. Although it means ‘to scare’ it’s rarely used. We do, however, use
So, how do these differ?
Erschrecken means to scare somebody and needs the accusative case. For example
Aufschrecken means to startle somebody. It also needs the accusative case. For example
Zurückschrecken means to shrink back/ recoil/ back off and it’s a separable verb.
Abschrecken means to deter/ warn somebody off/ be put off.
But there is another usage of the verb abschrecken. Here is a hint:
Vergiss nicht, die Eier nach dem Kochen abzuschrecken! Don’t forget to rinse the eggs with cold water after cooking!
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