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The verb ziehen

This week, let's take a look at the verb ziehen. It's true that there are many nuances, but we'll focus for now on the two main translations, the first of which is "to pull":


Super, Jo. Und ihr helft mit ziehen, ja?

Super, Jo. And you'll help us pull, right?

Caption 6, JoNaLu - Heiß und kalt

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Viele haben aber wohl schon darüber nachgedacht, wie es wäre, einfach mal den Stecker zu ziehen.

Many have, however, likely already thought about how it would be to simply pull the plug.

Captions 5-6, Vierzig Tage offline - Ein Selbstversuch

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Relatedly, in English, we say "to take a ticket" or "to draw a number," but in German ziehen is also used for this purpose: 


Zieht sich 'n Ticket, vier siebzig für die Fahrt ist ja ganz schön hart

She takes a ticket, four seventy for the ride, it's quite tough [quite a lot] indeed

Caption 27, Cro - Bye Bye

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The second common meaning of ziehen is "to move," "to migrate," or "to proceed."


Rötlich-violette Schwaden ziehen durchs Wasser, das hier fast frei von Sauerstoff ist.

Reddish-violet vapors move through the water, which here is almost oxygen-free.

Caption 8, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 5

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Sie ziehen von Haus zu Haus und verlangen Süßigkeiten.

They proceed from house to house and demand sweets.

Caption 16, Cettina erklärt - Halloween

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Interestingly enough, there is a common usage of ziehen which can be translated as "to draw," but also implies movement towards something. In a way, it is a combination of the two meanings.


Kaum scheint die Sonne, zieht es die Schleckermäuler an die Eisdielen.

The sun is scarcely shining and it draws [those with a] sweet tooth to the ice-cream parlors.

Caption 1, Eis - Eiskalte Leidenschaft

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Ich als Hamburger bin hier eigentlich als Flachlandtiroler und dennoch zieht es mich immer wieder in die Berge.

As a resident of Hamburg, I am actually known as a "flatland Tyrolean" and yet I am still repeatedly drawn to the mountains.

Captions 3-4, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps - Part 1

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Further Learning
There are many sentences that include the verb ziehen on Yabla German, so do a quick search if you need more examples. You can also review past newsletters in which we looked at the phrases Bilanz ziehen and Es zieht! 

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