The verb ‘to be’ or not the verb ‘to be’?

Have you ever noticed how many verbs there are in German that mean to be? Apart from the verb sein (which literally means to be) there are plenty of other verbs that can be translated as to be in certain contexts. I’ve listed ten of them below, illustrating their use with authentic examples. Note that in each case, no matter how specialised or formal the German verb might seem at first glance, its most idiomatic English translation is simply to be:

1    bestehen

Es besteht kein S-Bahnverkehr zwischen Köpenick und Karlshorst.

There is no S-Bahn service between Köpenick and Karlshorst.

Another good example of when this verb means to be is the phrase ‘Besteht die Möglichkeit…?’ meaning ‘Is it possible…?’ or ‘Is there any chance…?’
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