Nach der Operation erfolgte die Genesung des Patienten schnell

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I found this sentence: "Nach der Operation erfolgte die Genesung des Patienten schnell" and was wondering if you could also say "Nach der Operation passierte die Genesung des Patienten schnell"?

In other words, does passieren (and geschehen) fit when the sentence has a subject like "operation" and you're trying to say it "took place"?
  • Thomas(CH)

    Senior Member
    German - Switzerland

    Passieren always has the sense of something happening quickly and, in many cases, unexpectedly.

    Erfolgen has the sense that something that has been carefully prepared is now "going down".

    Geschehen is somewhere in between the two, but closer to the first.

    In your sentence, the erfolgte could be possibly replaced with geschah, but not with passierte.

    Hope this helps, Tom


    Senior Member
    "erfolgte" gives your noun (Genesung) a certain direction, that is important for understanding the participal construction "Nach der Operation". The verb erfolgen stems from folgen and so it means follow, while passieren stems from the latin word patere, which means to span, to extend, to be open. Of course you want to say, that the Genesung followed the operation, not that it expanded everywhere after the operation.


    Senior Member
    (...) zu lat. passus »Schritt« zu lat. pandere (passum) »auseinanderbreiten, ausspreizen«, einem Kausativum zu lat. patere »offen sein, offenstehen« (...)
    Kluge, etymologisches Wörterbuch.

    So you were both right;)
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Ief
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