Looking at ngram I start to doubt, that ngram is able to recognize the cases where the prefix is separated from the verb and put behind the object. I guess

Ich schätze etwas ab.

counts as usage of schätzen.

Current usage in office talk is dominated by "abschätzen", I can't believe above ngram results. I think ngram just doesn't know about German grammar.

  • 1
    Neither does ngram find conjugated or declined words. I believe this is one of the many limitations of the ngram viewer. This is related to this specific software rather than to German language and usage. Therefore I consider your question as off topic here.
    – Takkat
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:15
  • I don't see why the knowledge of limitations of tools we use regularly is of topic here. I have the same problem with german.stackexchange.com/questions/2750/…. Currently the low number of questions and Internet visits the the main obstacle from leaving beta.
    – bernd_k
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:23
  • Still, we need some definitions for what questions are on topic or not. This question simply does not fit to our faq. You may consider rephrasing, e.g. asking for a tool to find out how common a word is in case you don't want to use an "exotic" expression your dictionary may spit out ;)
    – Takkat
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:35
  • I think this would fit better on meta - it's not a question about German language, but it does relate to how much of a useful tool ngram is for this site.
    – Cass
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 19:09
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    I strongly oppose the migration to meta. Meta is about the main site. This question has nothing to do with that. If the question is off topic on main, it is off topic on meta as well. (Obviously this comment refers to the current version of the question. Rephrasing might change my opinion.)
    – musiKk
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 19:20
  • If I ask for ngram's algorithm with which it decides what to match, you will happily migrate the question to SO, Linguistics or some other site. On the other side I see some ignorance relative to the tools we are using in some of stackexchange languages sites. Perhaps it contradicts with professional level they want to hold. Personally I think it is OK to tell the people, that the tools they use work in special ways and not just to say, that the usage of such tools is not professional. Perhaps things will become more pragmatic, when 'Languages' starts.
    – bernd_k
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


Perhaps the best way to handle this question would be to say RTFM (here it is).

I guess that answers a lot.

The remaining interesting part is, how can we use a tool limited this way without being fooled.

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