... mit in die Schule bringen (position of "mit")

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Blixa, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Blixa Senior Member

    Spanish, MX
    Moderator note: Split from here.

    I know this post is old, but the sentence Man darf keinen Alkohol mit in die Schule bringen, which Language_Student gave as example, the verb is "mitbringen" right? why is it split? there is a modal verb there "dürfen", isn't it suppossed that because of it, the main verb "dürfen" must be conjugated and the second verb "mitbringen" must remain in its infinitive form at the end of the sentece?

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2013
  2. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    You are right, Man darf keinen Alkohol in die Schule mitbringen is probably more standard. But both forms are common.
  3. Blixa Senior Member

    Spanish, MX
    Danke! now it's clearer!
  4. Dan2

    Dan2 Senior Member

    English (US)
    Maybe this is splitting hairs, but I was surprised to see you agree that the verb in the original sentence is "mitbringen". I would've thought it preferable to say that the verb is "bringen", with "mit" an adverb, but that the meaning of the sentence is essentially the same as the one you proposed,
    in which the verb really is "mitbringen".

    Here's the issue: by agreeing that the verb is "mitbringen" in the original sentence, one leads learners to believe that there is freedom in the placement of separable prefixes that I don't think exists in general. If "mit" were, in the original sentence, in an allowable position for a separable prefix of an infinitive verb, then one would expect the following sentences to be equally acceptable:
    Man darf jetzt ein in die Schule treten (instead of ... eintreten)
    Das darf man nicht an in der Schule schauen
    (instead of ... anschauen)

    I suppose one could take the position that "mitbringen" is an exception among separable verbs in allowing this unusual placement of the prefix, but that seems misguided, since we know independently that "mit" occurs as a free-standing adverb in sentences where it is demonstrably not the prefix of a separable verb.
  5. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I trhink, that is also proofed by the fact that sometimes the following form is used in spoken coll. language:

    Man darf keinen Alkohol mit in die Schule mitbringen.

    But both forms have strong connections.

    Usually a separable verb buils a verb bracket in a simple main clause.

    Ich bringe ihn in die Schule mit.

    In this form it is definitely a separable verb.

    Ich bringe ihn mit in die Schule.

    Here you cannot decide in an easy way: is it the separable verb?

    In spoken language there is a tool: intonation and stress.

    I give main stress:
    Ich bringe ihn mit in die Schule.
    Separable verb, verb bracket, "in die Schule" is outside the bracket.

    Ich bringe ihn mit in die Schule. - The last part builds a unite. "mit" does not belong to the verb, but to the "school" phrase.

    In coll. language, also Ich bringe ihn mit in die Schule mit.
    This shows that the first "mit" belongs to the "school" phrase.

    *Ich bringe ihn mit in die Schule mit. ... this is not possible, except it has an ellipse (Auslassung).
  6. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)

    Colloquial language knows many separations/brackets which are unthinkable in standard language, e.g. Da kann ich nichts für instead of Dafür kann ich nicht. I don't think the interpretation of mit as an adverb rather than as a preposition is possible. The adverb has a different meaning (=among other things) and Man darf keinen Alkohol mit in die Schule bringen and Man darf keinen Alkohol in die Schule mitbringen surely mean the same thing.

    Some of these non-standard separation sound more acceptable than others in situations where standard language would be expected. And this example is one of them. I think this is in analogy to the variant words orders finite form:
    Er brachte Alkohol in die Schule mit and
    Er brachte Alkohol mit in die Schule
    which are both acceptable in standard language.

    PS: Crossed with Hutschi's answer
  7. oberhaenslir Banned

    German, Switzerland
    Standarddeutsch: "Man darf keinen Alkohol in die Schule mitbringen."
    Das Verb heisst im Infinitiv 'mitbringen'.

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