sich fürchten, sich setzen (Reflexive pronouns, accusative)

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Hi, as this is the first time me encountering indo European language, I am a bit confused with the use of reflexive pronouns.

I have previously posted similar questions saying

why Ich putze mir die Zähne instead of Ich putze meine Zähne.

This is probably due to the tendency of Germans to explicitly mention the beneficiary of the verb.

However, this works when the reflexive pronomen was used as dativ. But now, I want to know what does it actually mean to have akkusativ reflexive pronomen.


Mein Kind fürchten sich allein zu Hause.
(why sich? I mean it means My child fears being at home alone.

Wo wollen wir uns treffen?
Where shall we meet (here in English, you do not need to put uns.)

Ich setze mich auf den Stuhl.
I sit myself on the chair. Why not just I sit on the chair..?

Thank ya...very much!
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    German and English are not identical, so your examples do not fully apply. Sich fürchten is a fixed expression meaning 'to be afraid', Wir treffen uns is similar to English we meet each other (in German 'treffen' is only transitive and requires an object, while in English 'we meet' can already mean 'we meet each other'), and in English 'sit' usually means 'be seated', while 'sich setzen' (literally 'to set oneself') means 'sit down'. Usages are simply different.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Mein Kind fürchten sich allein zu Hause.:cross:
    Mein Kind fürchtet sich allein zu Hause.:tick:
    (why sich? I mean it means My child fears being at home alone.:cross:
    My child is frightened when he/she is at home alone.:tick:
    ... would be the correct translation, at least as to the meaning of the German sentence, but I don't know if it's the best way of saying this. I'm not a native speaker of English. "My child fears being at home alone" means "Mein Kind hat Angst davor, allein zu Hause zu sein."
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