Become and bekommen
The English verb “become” sounds very much like the German verb “bekommen,” but do they have the same meaning?
No, unfortunately they don’t. In fact, they have very different meanings, which means they are false friends. What is the difference?
Remember that generally: become = werden and get, receive = bekommen
A few examples to help you:
- My vision is becoming worse and worse; I think I’ll need glasses soon.
- It has become a nightmare living in this old apartment. Everything is falling apart.
- I got a dog for my birthday! (NOT
- Did you get my message that Bart Simpson called? (NOT
“Did you become”)
How not to use the word “become”:
The classic example of misuse of the verb “become” is the boy who says, “I became a dog for my birthday!”
To this, we must respond, “Oh, really? And what was it like to be a dog for a day? Did you go digging up bones and chasing cats?”
Now try this quiz: