mit auslösen


Senior Member
Australia, Cantonese
Reading an article in the Spiegel, I came across a sentence with the verb mit auslösen:

'Er hat nach Meinung der Jury des Deutschen Reporterpreises 2018 wieder die beste Reportage des Jahres geschrieben, über einen syrischen Jungen diesmal, der im Glauben lebt, durch einen Kinderstreich den Bürgerkrieg im Land mit ausgelöst zu haben.'

I haven't managed to find this verb in any dictionary, though, apart from Netzverb, which seems to treat it as a verb with two separable prefixes?! I have never come across this before, though, and I can't seem to find it anywhere else, so I would appreciate some insight into its meaning and grammatical syntax.
  • 1Nosferatu2

    Senior Member
    German - standard German/Hochdeutsch
    You should treat it as a normal full verb: auslösen (to cause, to provoke, to trigger, etc). The mit indicates that what we're talking about (the war in Syria) is not monocausal, but has many causes.
    In this case and according to said article, the practical joke or prank was not the only reason that caused the civil war in Syria, but one reason out of many. You could loosely translate it as among others (was one reason, among others, that caused the war).

    The website you mentioned uses this example sentence: Fortschrittliche Menschen lösen mit ihren Ideen oft Protest und Entrüstung aus.
    Here, mit is just a preposition (mit ihren Ideen = with their ideas).

    1. Der Junge hat mit seinem Streich den Krieg ausgelöst ~ The boy triggered/provoked the outbreak of the war with his practical joke.
    2. Sein Streich hat den Krieg mit ausgelöst ~ His practical joke was one reason that triggered/provoked the outbreak of the war.

    As you can see, when mit is used as a preposition (1.), it's followed by a noun and forms a prepositional phrase, in example (2.) it's followed by the verb form ausgelöst, not a noun.
    Hope that makes sense.


    Senior Member
    the verb mit auslösen:
    Nosferatu's explanation is excellent. I only would like to point out that there is no verb mit auslösen, but rather that mit in the Spiegel sentence is not a prefix but is used as an independent adverb. It can mean ''among other things/ among other causes/along with others/also'' and with this meaning it can precede or accompany any verb:
    Die Katastrophe, die mit von den starken Regenfällen herbeigeführt wurde... The catastrophe, which was brought about - among other things/causes - by the strong rains..
    Cf. das schließt euch mit ein #3
    and canoonet example ''Das gehört mit zu Ihren Pflichten'': canoonet - mit - Rechtschreibung


    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Thanks for the above explanations. It's much clearer now. I was only vaguely aware of this adverbial use of mit, and the fact that there was a separate entry for mit auslösen in Netzverb confused me. Why would they do that, I wonder?