Word of the Day – Eclipse – “gehen um”

Hello everyone,

German sucks. No one likes it. Especially Bella doesn’t. First of, it has cases. Detectives have cases, laywers have cases but languages… come on!
Also, German has part of the verb at the end. What’s that supposed to be? Do the parts of the verb have like a distance relationship? Couples have distance relationships but a language? Puh-leeze!
But the worstest thing by far are the, for the lack f a better word, little words… like … German’s always like “Ooooohhhh look, I’m the German language and I have 3 genders. I’m soooooooo organized” And you’re like… wow 3 genders, that is pretty damn organized and modern … but then yóu look a little closer and you see all those little words lying around all over the place… like ein or an.. and you’re like “Oh uh German, what kind of word is an… is it like and Adverb or a preposition” and German is like “Pffff I don’t know… it depends.”
And so you’re like “oh… uh… okay” and  you’re like “Hey an, great to meet you, what’s your translation?” And an‘s just like “Oh actually I got like 10… you wouldn’t wanne know.”… It’s just soooo messy. Sometimes the little word is part of the verb as a prefix, sometimes it is also part of the verb but as a preposition and sometimes it is even both… I mean… look at this, this is crazy:

  • Ich komme mit dir mit.

The first mit is a preposition, the second one is a separated prefix of the verb mitkommen an both mits MUST be there or the sentence would be grammatically wrong. Let’s have a look at how English deals with the same content:

  • I’ll come with you.

One with. English is 50% more with-efficient than German.
So the little words are really a big deal in German… oh speaking of little words, I really should do a post on mal some time, that would certainly interest a lot of folks. Too bad that it’s April now. Malch would have been a really good time to do it. Oh well, another Malch will come eventually.
So… today we learned why German sucks. I am off to a site where I can learn Klingon.

Hope you liked it and see you next time.

The post on mal is in the pipeline but it is REALLY EXHAUSTING … I hate mal… and the real post on “gehen um” will be online tonight or tomorrow the latest.
Happy April’s fools day.

11 responses to “Word of the Day – Eclipse – “gehen um”

  1. Haha schön gemacht! Als ich die Notifikationmail von deinem Blog bekommen habe und “Spanish is easy” gelesen habe dachte ich mal “wtf” :) Also zwei Artikel diese Woche? Du bist fleißig. Freue mich schon drauf !


  2. Well, at least you understand how almost everyone feels when trying to understand german. It’s almost as if you like to do things in a harder way…
    But still, I love this ungrateful language.


  3. wenn es um dieses naechste Blog geht, freue ich mich darauf!


  4. Hi, I just came across this blog… wonderful!
    So I’ll take this opportunity to ask a question about “mit” (as a prefix) that’s been driving me crazy for months now.
    Do you happen to have an explanation why they say:
    – Kommst du mit ins Kino?
    – Wir sind Ihnen dankbar, wenn Sie diese Gläser nicht mit ins Büro bringen.
    instead of
    – Kommst du ins Kino mit? [WRONG?]
    – Wir sind Ihnen dankbar, wenn Sie diese Gläser nicht ins Büro mitbringen. [WRONG?]

    Vielen Dank im Voraus!


    • Oh wow, that is a very very tough and interesting question… a great example that German sentence structure is very much a gut thing. So the second version, the one that has the preposition or rather adverb at the end as the rule compels us to do, is maybe not wrong but it sounds weird. The example with the office is okay but the movie one feels really strange. It is really hard to say, why… maybe Kino is just way more interesting here and so it comes after mit. We could also interpret mit as an adverb … just as “later” or “quickly”. So it would be “manner” and as such work fine in front of “place”. But honestly, this is just guess-work. Another possibility is that this sentence kind of copies the structure of things similar in meaning :

      – Begleitest du mich ins Kino.

      I think, “mit ins Kino” is kind of a fixed phrase… and the verb is actually kommen and not mitkommen. This theory can be supported as follows:

      – Hast du Lust mit ins Kino zu kommen?

      This sounds better than:

      – Hast du Lust, ins Kino mitzukommen.

      Also in past tense, I think the first version sounds better (at least to me it does):

      – Ich bin mit ins Kino gekommen.
      – Ich bin ins Kino mitgekommen.

      So… bottom line… let’s say, the verb is kommen alone and the complement is “mit ins Kino” with mit being a very short indication of how… with others.
      If some one says this:

      – Wir gehen ins Kino.

      Then the complement is just “ins Kino”… and THEN we use mitkommen to get the idea of “come with” across.

      – Wir gehen ins Kino. Willst du mitkommen?

      I am not sure if that helps in any way. It really is a hard question. Whenever you encounter stuff like that… I’d say, just accept it :). It’s German. There will ALWAYS be an exception.


  5. I hate German :)


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