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-ung is a common suffix in German .


The suffix -ung developed in the High German as a universal means of nominalization of verbs . In the course of history it also became part of independent nouns, which as fixed terms no longer have any direct connection to the original activity word.

As a counterpart to the Latin suffix -tion replaced the ending -ung this in the translation of foreign words that often latin descent as Greek / technical terms in scientific and technical fields are used and have no general distribution in everyday language. It then expressly has a continuative aspect, i.e. expresses actions that are in the process. For language tutors , it is considered bad style if every verb is generally substantiated with -ung .

While learning to write, these nouns present a hurdle as many students are tempted to lower them because they can be derived from a verb.


  • Survey derives in the conventional meanings ( "mountain, revolt, data acquisition") primarily from rising and is easily applicable. The quite possible form of elevation is considered unusual in these meanings, but is preferred when it is used in the sense of "getting up (from the sitting / lying position)". Survey would not be appropriate here.
  • Bypassing has become a household name for a road with a specific route. Analogous to this is bypass . Both generally stand as abbreviated compound nouns ( bypass / bypass ) for a thing, not for an activity.
  • Elongation as a technical term for the instantaneous value of a physical vibration is usually translated as deflection in common parlance , just like annotation is translated by annotation .

In foreign words that have become part of the general vernacular, the exchange can ending -ung to simplify or for clarification purposes but bans in some cases from speaking aesthetic reasons. The use of this ending even makes the actual stems unusual in linguistic usage, e.g. B. Differentiation instead of actually differentiation . In everyday language, decoration is often replaced by decoration , but is frowned upon among language tutors. Transport instead of transport is even a cumbersome extension of a word with exactly the same meaning.

The "Ung-en" ( nominal style ) is considered to be a bad linguistic style because substantiated verbs appear brittle and often imprecise:

The performance of the piece was carried out by the students.
Much better: the students performed the play.

Also not very popular among grammarians , but common usage is:

  • Civil servants
  • Creation (instead of creating )
  • Bypassing (instead of the transition or the passing over - synonymous: the transgression )
  • Defacing (instead of the Verunkenntlichung , rare)
  • Vergemeinschaftung (also: Vergemeinung )
  • Resolution (instead of resolution )
  • Clearance (in the ticket purchase: the cancellation , the postal system : the release , or freeing , franking , or more rarely the level mark )
  • Consultation (instead of moving in , rarely - "calling in an expert" instead of "moving in an expert")
  • Withholding (instead of withholding - "The withholding is allowed." Instead of "The withholding is allowed.")

Web links

Wiktionary: -ung  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations