The verbs “drucken” and “drücken” in German are often confused by non-native speakers, especially by those who cannot pronounce the vowel “ü” (to pronounce it, say “oo” as in “food” with your lips and “ee” as in “feed” with your tongue at the same time). They have the following meanings:
drucken – to print
It is quite understandable that the word for “print” would sound similar to “press”; printing used to be done with a printing press, after all, and print media (and their employees) are commonly called “the press” in English.
When the prefix aus- is added, the meaning of “drucken” does not change significantly, and it can be, depending on the context, translated as “to print out” or yet again as “to print”:
The situation is slightly more complicated with “ausdrücken”. It can take the literal meaning, that is,
but it more commonly has a different meaning, whose translation into English is, oddly enough, also formed by simply adding a prefix to the meaning of “drücken”:
To summarize: When you talk about anything related to printing, use the version without the umlaut. When you want to talk about thoughts and opinions, use “ü”:
ausdrücken – to express (a thought)