Separable prefixes

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Separable prefixes

Post  kosovohp on Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:36 am

Many German verbs have a separable prefix, often with an adverbial function. In finite verb forms this is split off and moved to the end of the clause, and is hence considered by some to be a "resultative particle". For example, mitgehen meaning "to go with" would be split, giving Gehen Sie mit? (Literal: "Go you with?" ; Formal: "Are you going along"?; a closer equivalent in colloquial English would be "Are you coming with?").

Indeed, several parenthetical clauses may occur between the prefix of a finite verb and its complement; e.g.

Er kam am Freitagabend nach einem harten Arbeitstag und dem üblichen Ärger, der ihn schon seit Jahren immer wieder an seinem Arbeitsplatz plagt, mit fraglicher Freude auf ein Mahl, das seine Frau ihm, wie er hoffte, bereits aufgetischt hatte, endlich zu Hause an .

A literal translation of this example might look like this:

He -rived on Friday evening, after a hard day at work and the usual annoyances that had been repeatedly troubling him for years now at his workplace, with questionable joy, to a meal which, as he hoped, his wife had already served him, finally ar- at home.

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