German B1 Verb Lassen- Simple Meaning & Examples

It’s important to note that “lassen” is used differently in German than in English. One of the common meaning of lassen is- To let or allow. Let’s see these two examples:

(i) Ich putze meine Schuhe. (I polish my shoes.)

(ii) Ich lasse meine Schuhe putzen. ( I let/allow my shoes to be polished)

In this sentence, “lassen” is used to express that the speaker is having someone else clean their shoes.

How to Use Verb “Lassen”

Conjugation of verb lassen (Präsens)
ich- lasse (I let)
du – lässt (you let)
er/sie/es- lässt (he/she/it lets)
wir – lassen (we let)
ihr – lasst (you all let)
sie/Sie – lassen (they/you let)
German Verb Lassen- Simple Meaning & Examples

Lassen Meaning

lassen” is used to express permission or the idea of “letting” someone do something.

It is a versatile verb with several different uses and meanings, which can make it tricky for learners to master.

The modal verb “lassen” is often used in a similar way to the English modal verb “let”, as in “let’s talk about it” or “let’s get it done”.

Let’s see some examples:

Ich lasse mein Auto reparieren. (I am having my car repaired./I am letting my car be repaired.)
Sie lässt sich die Haare schneiden. (She is getting her hair cut./She is letting her hair be cut.)
Er lässt das Fenster offen. (He is leaving the window open./He is letting the window open.)
Lass uns tanzen gehen! (Let’s go dancing!)
Lass ihn in Ruhe! (Leave him alone!/ Let him be alone)

Usage of verb lassen

As noted above, “lassen” can be used to express a variety of different ideas. Here are some of the most common ways that it is used:

  • To indicate that someone is having something done to them:

Ich lasse mir die Haare schneiden- I’m letting my hair be cut.
Wir lassen uns das Essen schmecken- We let ourselves enjoy the food.

  • To indicate that someone is allowing something to happen

Er lässt das Fenster offen- He lets the window open. Lass uns das ausprobieren-Let’s try this/Let’s try that out!

  • To express permission or agreement:

Lass uns darüber reden- Let’s talk about it. Darf ich dich zu einem Drink einladen? – Ja, lass uns etwas trinken gehen.-Can I buy you a drink? – Yes, let’s go have a drink.

  • To express a lack of control or ability:

Ich kann ihn nicht aufhalten, er lässt sich nicht bremsen- I can’t stop him, he lets himself not be slowed down.

  • To express an opinion or feeling:

Ich lasse mich davon nicht beeindrucken- I’m not letting that impress me.

Lassen as Modal Verb:

  1. As a modal verb, lassen is often translated as “let” or “allow.” It is used to indicate that someone permits or allows an action to take place. For example:
  • Ich lasse mein Kind allein nach draußen gehen. (I let my child go outside alone.)
  • Kannst du mich bitte in Ruhe lassen? (Can you please let me be alone?)

Lassen as Reflexive Verb

As a reflexive verb, lassen is used to describe an action that someone allows or permits to be done to themselves. In this context, lassen is often translated as “get” or “have.” For example:

  • Ich lasse mir die Haare schneiden. (I am letting my hair cut)
  • Sie lässt sich die Nägel machen. (She is letting her nails be done)

Lassen as Passive Substitute

Lassen can also be used as a substitute for the passive voice in German. In this case, lassen is used in the sense of “make” or “have.” The subject of the sentence is the receiver of the action, and the verb is in the infinitive form. For example:

Das Haus wird renoviert. (The house is being renovated.)

  • Ich lasse das Haus renovieren. (I’m letting the house be renovated.)

Lassen as Imperativ

In German, it’s also possible to use the verb “lassen” for imperatives that combine the first and second person, similar to the structure of the English phrase “let’s…”.

The form of “lassen” changes based on the number of people being addressed and whether the speaker is using formal or familiar pronouns with the addressee(s). Here are some examples:

  • Lass uns ins Kino gehen.(Let’s go to the movies.)
  • Lass uns gehen. (Let’s go)
  • Lasst uns beten. (Let us pray)
  • Lassen Sie uns das Meeting verschieben (Let’s postpone the meeting)

Word Order While Using Lassen

Position 2End
Ich putze meine Schuhe
Position 2EndEnd
Ichlasse meine Schuheputzen

Conclusion is that if „lassen“ is the main verb, it goes in the regular position of the verb (position 2 for normal sentences, position 1 for yes/no-questions).

If „lassen“ is used as a helping verb, it follows the normal rules of Modal Verbs.

When do we use „lassen“ and „gelassen“?

lassen” and “gelassen” are two different forms of the same verb in German.

“lassen” is the present tense form of the verb, which means “to let” or “to allow.” It is used to indicate that someone allows or permits something to happen. For example:

Ich lasse meine Kinder allein zu Hause. (I let my children stay alone at home.)

Lassen: Lassen with a second verb haben+ Infinitv of 2nd verb+ Lassen

Ich habe gestern mein Fahrrad reparieren lassen.

Gelassen: Lassen as main verb haben+ Past Participle of lassen

Er hat die Tür offen gelassen.

“gelassen” is the past participle form of the verb, which means “let” or “left.” It is used to indicate that something has been allowed or permitted in the past. For example:

  • Ich habe meine Kinder allein zu Hause gelassen. (I left my children alone at home./I have left my children at home alone)

So, in short, “lassen” is used in the present tense to indicate that something is being allowed, while “gelassen” is used in the past tense to indicate that something was allowed or left.

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