How to say "surrender" in German

In order to express ceasing resistance to an opponent or enemy, Germans use “(sich) ergeben”, and to express quitting or abandoning something the word is “aufgeben”:

– “Er hat sich der Polizei ergeben.” – “He surrendered to the police.”
– “Ergeben Sie sich!” / “Ergib dich!” – “Surrender (yourself)!”
– “Er hat den Kampf aufgegeben.” – “He gave up the fight.”
– “Du musst das Rauchen aufgeben!” – “You have to quit smoking.”
– “Wir haben die Hoffnung aufgegeben.” – “We gave up hope.”

The word “(sich) ergeben” can also mean “to dedicate (oneself)”, or “to devote (oneself)”:

– “Er hat sich völlig seiner Arbeit ergeben.” – “He entirely devoted himself to his work.”

Without “sich”, the word “ergeben” means “result in”:

– “Es ergab Chaos.” – “It resulted in chaos.”

The word “aufgeben” can also be used to assign a task:

– “Der Lehrer hat mir zu viele Hausaufgaben aufgegeben.” – “The teacher gave me too much homework.”

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