How to say "collect" in German

The German word for “to collect”, in the sense of accumulating items, is “sammeln”. With “ich” it can be written “sammele” or “sammle”:

– “Ich sammle Briefmarken.” – “I collect (postage) stamps.”
– “Ich sammele Münzen.” – “I collect coins.”

In the sense of “to gather”, as in items that are scattered about, the word is “einsammeln”, and in the sense of people getting together “versammeln”:

– “Ich muss die Spielzeuge einsammeln.” – “I have to gather (up) the toys.”
– “Die Gruppe versammelt sich am Freitag.” – “The group is gathering on Friday.”

Relatedly, to collect owed money the word is “eintreiben”. A “collecting point” is “Sammelstelle” (f.). In the sense of “picking something up” (such as the kids at school), the word is “abholen”.

Note: Interestingly, the word “sammeln” is actually related to “zusammen”, meaning “together” – which itself essentially comes from “to gather”. The modern English word “same” is also related.

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