What are the difference between beliefern and liefern? I know that both mean to deliver but are they interchangeable?

Unisex White Mono Chuck Tongue Taylor OX Up Converse Weiß Lace Double AS up vote 5 down vote

"liefern" requires info on what is being delivered, optionally to whom it gets delivered to.

"beliefern" is the other way round. You must define who gets it, but it's optional to state what gets delivered.

Note Hans Peter's examples and add the example

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for clarity of the usage.

a) Du kannst jemanden beliefern (mit und genaues Objekt)

b) Du kannst etwas liefern (genaues Objekt)

a) Wir beliefern den Supermarkt schon lange

oder

a) Wir beliefern den Supermarkt schon lange mit Tomaten

b) Wir liefern dem Supermarkt schon lange Tomaten

Wenn Du jemandem etwas lieferst, dann belieferst Du ihn.

beliefern is the transitive version of liefern. The former automatically asks for an (accusative) object. It's like the difference between antworten und beantworten:

antworten auf die Frage = die Frage beantworten

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