hören, sehen / sich anhören, ansehen

Schkell

Member
italian
Sie horen sich ein Konzert an
Sie horen Radio
Sie sehen sich einen Film an

my first question is:

- why we use sich? sich is reflective. So "sich" means they are seeing each other. I wouldn't say "they see them-self a film" or "they are seeing them-self a film"
- why in the first and third sentence is it using suffix "an" at the end? is it really necessary? can't i use a normal sentence such as the second one (without "an")?
 
  • Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    why we use sich? sich is reflective. So "sich" means they are seeing each other. I wouldn't say "they see them-self a film" or "they are seeing them-self a film"
    I think you can do that, even in English! The refelxive dative indicates a dativus commodi: the person for whose benefit it is.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dativ#dativus_commodi_bzw._incommodi

    - why in the first and third sentence is it using suffix "an" at the end? is it really necessary? can't i use a normal sentence such as the second one (without "an")?
    ansehen - to watch
    sehen - to see


    If you see sth. for your own benefit you must be watching it deliberately, not merely seeing it by sheer coincidence!
     

    dubitans

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    ansehen - to watch
    sehen - to see
    It's not that easy in English:
    You see a film in the cinema but you watch a film on TV.


    In German I don't see any difference in either deliberateness or benefit between the following two sentences:

    Ich habe im Kino einen tollen Film gesehen.
    Ich habe mir im Kino einen tollen Film angesehen.

    What I do see though is a difference in formality:
    I find the latter less formal than the former.
     
    Last edited:

    djweaverbeaver

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English Atlanta, GA USA
    It's not that easy in English:
    You see a film in the cinema but you watch a film on TV.
    It's even more complicated that this. To see a film/movie implies the action of going to the movie theater/cinema to watch a movie/film. Once you're inside the theater/cinema and seated, you watch the movie/film on the big screen. You watch a movie/film at home on your television set or your computer. However, you can see a movie/film on TV if you just happen to be flipping the channels and stumble across a movie that catches your eye. There are even instances in which we'd use see and watch for a movie interchangeably.
    Sie horen sich ein Konzert an
    my first question is:

    - why we use sich? sich is reflective. So "sich" means they are seeing each other. I wouldn't say "they see them-self a film" or "they are seeing them-self a film"
    Sich is both reflexive (rückbezüglich) and reciprocal (wechselbezüglich). For instance, Er liebt sich = He loves himself is reflexive whereas Sie grüßen sich = They greet each otheris reciprocal. In some cases, it can be either, depending on the context. Sie lieben sich = They/You love themselves/yourself or They/you love each other. Sometimes einander is used in place of sich to show reciprocity and to avoid ambiguity. Sie lieben einander = They/you love each other.

    Some German verbs are always reflexive, even when the meaning isn't reflexive (z.B. sich erinnern [to remember], sich langweilen [to be bored]), whereas for others, the use of the reflexive pronoun is optional. In the case of anhören and ansehen in your examples, the sich is optional because it is functioning as a Dative object. Leaving it out won't change the meaning.

    - why in the first and third sentence is it using suffix "an" at the end? is it really necessary? can't i use a normal sentence such as the second one (without "an")?
    It's because the verb is ansehen, not sehen. Ansehen is called a seperable verb or a separable-prefix verb (trennbares Verb). I don't know if you've learned about them yet. At any rate, here's an explanation in English and one in Italian. :)
     
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