etwas für sich entscheiden können

freakshow

Senior Member
Guten Tag/Abend!

I have another comprehension question... :eek: This time it's about Israel's security wall.

"Ein Sicherheitswall, dessen Verlauf Israel nach eigenem Gutdünken festlegte, soll das Kernland Israels von den palästinensischen Gebieten trennen und Selbstmordattentäter aus Israel fest halten. Die Wahlen zum palästinensischen Parlament vom Januar 2006 konnte die Hamas mit großer Mehrheit für sich entscheiden." (The book was written in August 2006)
Could someone help me understand this last sentence, please?

Danke!!
 
  • Henryk

    Senior Member
    Germany, German
    It simply means that the Hamas were able to win the elections by a large majority.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    (1) Die Wahlen zum palästinensischen Parlament vom Januar 2006 (2) konnte (3) die Hamas (4) mit großer Mehrheit (2 end) für sich entscheiden.
    Subject is "die Hamas".

    The default order is:

    (1) Die Hamas (2) konnte (3) die Wahlen zum palästinensischen Parlament vom Januar 2006 (4) mit großer Mehrheit (2 end) für sich entscheiden.

    "die Wahlen zum palästinensischen Parlament vom Januar 2006" is the object. It is the important part and that's why moved to the first place.

    The verb phrase is "konnte für sich entscheiden" where "konnte" is the conjugated verb, it is an auxiliary verb. It has to be set to the second place in the sentence. You count the phrases rather than words. The subject moves behind the verb. (4) defines how they have decided mit großer Mehrheit.

    Subject and Object have now reversed order.

    Could you try, please, and give a translation into English with these hints? So we can proof, whether you understood it.

    Hutschi
     

    freakshow

    Senior Member
    I'm sorry but the problem was that I didn't understand the sentence because I didn't know that "für sich entscheiden" could also mean "gewinnen". :eek:
    Now that I finally found it on a dictionary, I don't get the link with the sentence just before. So, did the Hamas win the parliamentary elections in January 2006 by a landslide because Israel wanted to build the wall, or is it just an information to explain why they wanted to build it? I'm asking because I think I should add a link between the two sentences but I'm not sure which one... (by the way, I'm translating into French, not English)
    Thanks to whoever is willing to help me! :)
     

    Cincimatti

    Member
    USA English
    Die Wahlen zum palästinensischen Parlament vom Januar 2006 konnte die Hamas mit großer Mehrheit für sich entscheiden

    word for word:

    The elections to the Palestinian parlament of January, 2006 were able the Hamas by a large majority for themselves to decide (nonsense)

    The Hamas were successful in having the January 2006 election to the Palestinian parlement decided in their favour by a large majority.

    Neither of these examples is particularly good English, but I think you're trying too hard connect the words "sich entscheiden" Whereas the Hamas suceeded in securing the "Wahlenstscheidung" "für sich"

    Check with Hutschi, but I believe this is a transitive (not reflexive) construction in German that might best be served using the passive voice in other languages.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Yes, it is not reflexive.

    Compare:
    Sich entscheiden: Ich entscheide mich für jemanden.
    This is reflexiv.

    But "Etwas für sich entscheiden" is not reflexive.

    ... konnte die Hamas mit großer Mehrheit für sich entscheiden
    this is a strange and complicate contruction indeed, and it is a kind of an idiomatic usage.

    Sie versuchte, die Wahl zu entscheiden, indem sie die Mehrheit errang.
    Das gelang der Hamas.
    Sie konnte also die Wahl für sich (zu ihren Gunsten) entscheiden.
     

    iaf

    Senior Member
    castellano
    I'm sorry but the problem was that I didn't understand the sentence because I didn't know that "für sich entscheiden" could also mean "gewinnen". :eek:
    Now that I finally found it on a dictionary, I don't get the link with the sentence just before. So, did the Hamas win the parliamentary elections in January 2006 by a landslide because Israel wanted to build the wall, or is it just an information to explain why they wanted to build it? I'm asking because I think I should add a link between the two sentences but I'm not sure which one... (by the way, I'm translating into French, not English)
    Thanks to whoever is willing to help me! :)
    Without more context, I would say the two sentences don´t have any explicit link. Perhaps you shouldn't risk to induce what is not clearly expressed.

    I was thinking of some french expression like "renverser/tourner en sa faveur".

    A toi de résoudre... :)
     

    Cincimatti

    Member
    USA English
    Here's a quote from the internet. I am not too familiar with Hamas, so I searched on a news article about it.

    "In elections held on January 27, 2006, Hamas won control of the Palestinian government when its party members took a majority of parliamentary seats."

    And look! No article. It is indeed not the Hamas, just Hamas.

    I don't see a connection between the two sentences either, but here's a proper rendition of the event described in the second sentence in English for you anyway.

    Buena suerte.
     
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