Index Home Chapter 13 Vocabulary

The Verb "lassen"

The verb "lassen" (läßt, ließ, gelassen) has a number of different meanings:

1. to leave, leave behind:
Laß mich bitte in Ruhe. Please leave me alone.
Er läßt den Wagen immer auf der Straße (stehen). He always leaves the car in the street.
Hast du die Schlüssel im Auto gelassen? Did you leave the keys in the car? let, allow, permit (with a dependent infinitive):
Gerd, laß uns doch aufs Land ziehen. Gerd, let's move to the country.
Nein, laß uns lieber in der Stadt bleiben. No, let's stay in the city.
Schuberts haben ihre Tochter nicht in eine WG ziehen lassen. The Schuberts did not let their daughter move into a communal apartment. have something done (with a dependent infinitive):
Wir lassen uns ein Haus auf dem Land bauen. We are having a house built in the country.
Herr Bauer läßt seinen Wagen reparieren. Mr. Bauer has his car repaired.
Ich habe mir die Wohnung zeigen lassen. I had someone show me the apartment.

In this last case, lassen plus an infinitive expresses an action that is done to, or on behalf of, the subject of the sentence. Note the dative reflexive pronouns (uns, mir) in two of the preceding sentences. They indicate the person for whom the action is intended.

When lassen is used with a dependent infinitive, it functions like a modal, forming the perfect tense with a double infinitive.
Herr Bauer hat den Wagen reparieren lassen. Mr.Bauer had the car repaired.
Wir haben uns ein Haus auf dem Land bauen lassen. We had a house built in the country.