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klarkommen

1.
to manage, to get by
("klarkommen (mit)" - being able to handle a set of challenges, small or big.)
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2.
to get grounding, being able to keep it together
("(nicht) klarkommen auf+Acc" - colloquial term for (not) thinking straight. Common slang phrase is "Komm mal klar." (Get yourself together, bro.))
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Word Family

Root: *gwa-

The core idea of this root was:

coming, coming into this world, going

In  to come and kommen, the beginning has “hardened” but in the Latin branch of  “venire”, the soft “v”-portion prevailed.  “venire” was the Latin word for to come and which we can see in words like invent, prevent or venture.

The root is also the origin of the word base, which got its meaning from an old word Greek word for going, making steps.
That’s also where diabetes is from, which originally was about passing through, specifically urine “passing through”

The most surprising German member is the adjective bequem, which actually ties in quite well with the side idea of “become” as in “to fit, to suit”. Just think of “unbecoming”.

here’s an (incomplete) list of the relatives in English:

  • to come
  • to become 
  • base, basis (“going there, making steps”)
  • invent, invention, inventory (“coming in, going in”)
  • prevent, prevention (“coming before”)
  • convene, convent, convention (“coming together”)
  • intervene, intervention (“coming in between”)
  • circumvent (“coming around”)
  • event, eventually (“coming here”)
  • advent, adventure, avenue (“coming ahead”)
  • provenience (“coming from”)
  • revenue (“coming back”)
  • souvenir (“coming along”)
  • diabetes (“passing through”)

 

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Questions and Comments

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Mateo
Mateo
5 months ago

The translations vs the notes on this one is a little confusing:

to be crazy/high, not being able to make sense of something

“klarkommen auf” – colloquial term for (not) thinking straight. Common slang phrase is “Komm mal klar.” (Get yourself together, bro.)

The “Komm mal klar.” phrase is “to get yourself together” but the translation of the verb by itself is “to be crazy/high”…?

Mateo
Mateo
5 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Cool!

Now that is cleared up – I’m thinking about “+ auf” in the second translation and “+ mit” in the first translation.

It’s probably easiest to ask this with an example:

Ich bin mit der Situation klargekommen. – I managed the situation.

Ich bin auf der Situation klargekommen. – I got a grip / kept it together with the situation.

Does the “auf” just emphasize that we mean the person managed the situation after some effort / perhaps the “keeping it together” was a little tenuous…whereas “mit” is more neutral?



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