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mitgehen mit vs. gehen mit

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by zarvox, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    This is a general question about separable prefixes, I suppose. What is the difference between

    >Ich gehe mit Hans [in den Park]. (gehen)

    and

    >Ich gehe [in den Park] Hans mit. (mitgehen)

    Do they have different meanings? Different tones?
     
  2. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    There are two verbs:
    1. gehen - to go
    2. mitgehen - to go together with somebody, to accompany somebody

    You can say "Ich gehe in den Park."
    If Karl comes with you, you have two possibilities:

    1. Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park. (Mit belongs to "Karl" and not to the verb.) I go into the park together with Karl.
    2. Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park mit. (The second "mit" belongs to the verb. Together with the other verb part it builds a verb bracket. This construction is very common and often mandatory in German.) Karl goes into the park. I accompany him.

    So add "mit" to correct your sentence.
    >Ich gehe [in den Park] mit Hans mit. (mitgehen)
    The verb bracket is kept. But inside the bracket you may change the phrases to emphasize that you go with Karl.
    The neutral sequence is "Ich gehe mit Hans [in den Park] mit."
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    Okay, that was very helpful. Thank you.

    So "I accompany Hans to the park" would be "Ich gehe mit Hans in den Park mit."
    And "I go to the park with Hans" would be "Ich gehe mit Hans in den Park."

    And the change in meaning in German would basically map onto the difference between "go with" and "accompany" or "go along with" ("accompany" sounds a bit formal in English but "go along with" gets at the same idea). Got it.
     
  4. Robocop Senior Member

    Central Switzerland
    (Swiss) German
    I don't think "mitgehen mit" (or "mitkommen mit") are common usage. For example, "Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park mit" sounds rather weird and I don't consider it good style.
    I would write:
    Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park (I go to the park with Karl). Ich begleite Karl in den Park (I accompany Karl to the park).
    Kommst du mit mir nach Paris? Begleitest du mich nach Paris?
     
  5. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    Okay, that is exactly what I'm wondering about--whether you can have the preposition occur twice in a single statement (once as a prefix).

    If one would say "Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park," under what circumstances would one use "mitgehen" at all? Was the construction from my first post ("Ich gehe in den Park Karl mit") ungrammatical/awkward?
     
  6. Sowka

    Sowka Forera und Moderatorin

    Hannover
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    I wouldn't say it was awkward. In this straight sentence, however, I'd be more inclined to use the verb "gehen": "Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park".

    A situation in which "mitgehen" would be natural, in my opinion:

    Karl: "Ich gehe jetzt in den Park!"
    Helene: "Weißt du was? Ich werde mit dir mitgehen! Den ganzen Tag habe ich zu Hause gesessen; ein bisschen frische Luft wird mir guttun..."

    or:

    Mutter: "Karl will in den Park gehen."
    Tochter: "Ich gehe lieber mit ihm mit, sonst verläuft er sich wieder!"

    You can see that "mit" is indeed used twice. So this double preposition alone is not awkward at all.

    While I'm writing these examples, I realize that it's probably the indication "in den Park" that somehow clashes with the verb "mitgehen" for me. I can't make it really fit in these sentences.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  7. Captain Lars

    Captain Lars Senior Member

    Ducatus Montensis (Alemania)
    Deutsch (Alemán)
    I also think that mit jdm mitgehen is rather intransitive.
     
  8. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    Sowka: That's funny, I only added "in den Park" at the last minute because I didn't want to give too simple a sentence as my example. Why does it make things more difficult? But your examples are very helpful; I think I get the gist of it. 'Mitgehen' implies an emphasis on going 'along with' as opposed to just 'with,' so it just depends on context.

    So are both
    "Ich gehe in den Park Karl mit"

    and

    "Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park mit"

    correct, and if so, do they have a difference?

    Captain Lars: I'm not sure what you mean.
     
  9. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    The first sentence is ungrammatical. The native speakers must have overlooked that.

    Cheers
    Abba
     
  10. Captain Lars

    Captain Lars Senior Member

    Ducatus Montensis (Alemania)
    Deutsch (Alemán)
    I have marked your sentences with colour to show you what mit belongs to mitgehen in your examples.

    "Ich gehe in den Park Karl mit" :cross: Correctly it must be Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park (mit) or Ich gehe in den Park mit. (see below).

    "Ich gehe mit Karl in den Park mit" :tick: It's colloquial if not odd but not really wrong either. Optional in this kind of construction is the syntagma mit Karl, and not just Karl.


    The use of mitgehen is intransitive I said, but that was not very specific. When I think of it, you can say Gabriella geht in die Bar mit. Another possibility is Gabriella geht mit Peter mit but not *Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar mit. That's really odd. It would be sufficient in this case to say Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar.

    Look at this:
    Gabriella geht mit Peter = Gabriella has a relationship with Peter
    Gabriella geht mit Peter mit = Gabriella accompanies Peter

    Gabriella geht in die Bar = Gabriella goes to the bar
    Gabriella geht in die Bar mit = Gabriella accompanies (whomever) to the bar

    Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar = Gabriella accompanies Peter to the bar
    *Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar mit = that's kind of a tautology, or doppelt gemoppelt as we call it
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  11. Robocop Senior Member

    Central Switzerland
    (Swiss) German
    I wonder if "Gabriella goes (is going) along to the bar" would be a valid translation (accompany requires an object which does not exist in the German phrase).
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  12. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    Okay, so you can't say "Iche gehe in den Park Karl mit," but does this

    mean you can say "Ich gehe Karl in den Park mit"? I may have misunderstood you.

    I'll certainly accept this as 'just the way it is' if that's the case. I don't have a sense of what sounds right in German, but from the meaning of the word alone it's not obvious to me why you can have "with Peter" or "to the bar/park" but not both. I'm not sure whether the transitive/intransitive distinction is what's at issue here; after all, gehen is also intransitive.

    Why is *Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar mit more of a tautology than Gabriella geht mit Peter mit?

    Also, thanks.
     
  13. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    ABBA:

    I thought that the mit of mitgehen has to go at the end of the phrase?
     
  14. Captain Lars

    Captain Lars Senior Member

    Ducatus Montensis (Alemania)
    Deutsch (Alemán)
    No. There have to be two mit: one is the particle of the word mitgehen, and the other one is a preposition in mit Karl. This is a syntagma. You can't just say Karl.

    Neither do I to be honest. But intransitive means that there is no need for an object, but it doesn't impede a prepositional phrase to be there. That's the case both with gehen and mitgehen.

    Because *Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar mit is redundant to Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar, whereas Gabriella geht mit Peter mit is certainly not redundant to Gabriella geht mit Peter (as stated above), as it has a completely different meaning.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  15. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    I want to add a remarkable difference:

    2. Verb particle
    If you have a separable verb, you have the finite verb part like "gehe" and the separable particle.

    The default structure in a main clause is

    first phrase - finite verb part - several phrases - particle.

    The particle and the finite verb part build a verb bracket.
    If you find something looking like a preposition at the very end of a sentence it is most likely a particle of a separate verb.
    the finite verb part is at the second position.
    The particle may be moved away from the end in some circumstances. Example: If it follows a subordinate clause, it often is moved so that the subordinate clause follows it.

    Ich gehe mit Peter, der heute Gebutstag hat, mit.
    Ich gehe mit Peter mit, der heute Geburtstag hat. - This form is preferred now.
    Ich gehe in den Park mit. This implies that there are other persons, and that there is some context, so I can omit the person.
    2. Preposition
    The preposition belongs to the noun. That is why you cannot omit it. But you can often omit the phrase with the preposition, and you can plug in other objects.

    Ich gehe mit Peter mit.
    Ich nehme Peter mit. (The object does not require a preposition.)

    ---
    After clarifying this we have another problem.
    Is Gabriella geht mit Peter in die Bar mit really a kind of a tautology, or doppelt gemoppelt?
    I am in doubt.
    Both "mit" have different functions and meanings.
    There is a difference between "mitgehen" and "gehen". If I use "mitgehen" I imply that the other one is the one who gives the direction.
    It is only tautologically if you read the movement parts only. The given relations be persons are different however.
     
  16. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    I was ready to accept this as just a fact of German until Hutschi disputed it. In English, one could say I'm going to the bar with Peter AND I'm going along with Peter to the bar. These have similar but non-identical meanings. It seems to me that the same would be true for gehen/mitgehen.

    (I realize mitgehen and go along with may not be completely congruent, but they seem to come very close. The largest different I'm noticing is that while you can say Ich gehe in den Park mit, you could not say I go along to the park or I accompany to the park.)
     
  17. pterois New Member

    Geneva, Switzerland
    German - Germany
    No, it's not. :)

    If you have a closer look at the valency of "mitgehen", you will find that it actually is transitive (= takes two arguments), but not ditransitive (=takes three arguments).

    So it's either "Gabriella (1) geht in die Bar (2) mit" or "Gabriella (1) geht mit Peter (2) mit" - but not "Gabriella (1) geht mit Peter (2) in die Bar (3) mit."
     
  18. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    "Gabriella (1) geht mit Peter (2) in die Bar (3) mit." - I am not sure that this is wrong. I do not understand "Tritransitive" in this case. (Transitivity in German refers to accusative objects.)


    There is a variant; "Gabriella (1) geht mit Peter (2) mit in die Bar (3)."
    Here "mit in die Bar" builds a phrase on its own. I think but I am not sure that this example is coll. language.
     
  19. pterois New Member

    Geneva, Switzerland
    German - Germany
    Hello Hutschi,

    I was referring to valency, where intransitive = "no object", transitive = "one object", ditransive = "two objects"... This approach is a lot more complete than the "classical" approach "transitive > accusative object".

    I would consider your variant being colloquial language.
     
  20. ABBA Stanza Senior Member

    Hessen, DE
    English (UK)
    That's what I thought for years until I joined this forum. :) Then I found out that prepositional phrases (i.e., phrases beginning with a preposition) can be placed outside (i.e., after) the verb bracket formed by a separable verb's stem and its prefix. Before that, although I had encountered this many times, especially (but not only) in spoken German, I thought it was simply due to people being lazy :rolleyes:. For more information, see (for example) here.

    With verbs like mitgehen, mitkommen, etc., the situation appears to be even more complex. For example, one normally says

    "Ich will mit in den Park gehen!" (or simply: "Ich will mit in den Park!")

    instead of

    "Ich will in den Park mitgehen!"

    Cheers
    Abba
     
  21. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Dresden, Universum
    German, Germany
    "Ich will mit in den Park gehen!"

    I just want to analyse this common sentence to show that it fits to the standard German main clause structure.

    Ich - Subject, first position
    will - finite verb, second position
    mit in den Park - mit + location, as Abba described
    gehen!
    infinite part of the verb phrase, last position

    The omission of "gehen" is very common in this kind of sentences.

    Ich will/möchte mit ins Kino!
    Ich will/möchte mit ins Schwimmbad! -> Ich möchte mit zum Baden!

    There is also the common phrase "Ich möchte (bitte) mit!" - independent on going, driving, flying etc.
    and "Darf ich bitte mit?"

    All these phrases are informal and colloquial. You can use them in letters and in dialogues. But this is clear due to the content.

    Especially in coll. language phrases are moved behind the last mit. Subordinated clauses are mostly outside of the verb brackets.
    Ich möchte gerne mit, wenn du ins Kino gehst.
    Ich möchte bitte, wenn du ins Kino gehst, mit(kommen) - this is very seldom used, however.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  22. zarvox Junior Member

    English - U.S.
    That's news to me! Is the latter phrasing wrong, or just less natural-sounding? Is there any sort of rule about which verbs you can do that with?
     
  23. Captain Lars

    Captain Lars Senior Member

    Ducatus Montensis (Alemania)
    Deutsch (Alemán)
    OK, but it does not have to take two arguments. I would consider Ich gehe mit a valid sentence. Do you think different?

    Yes, these are exactly my examples.
     

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