[Well] You have to understand

Meyer Wolfsheim

Senior Member

Is there an idiomatic German expression which involves a reflexive construction in the translation English sentence: [Well] You have to understand.

My attempt:

Du musst dich/dir verstehen

I doubt that "sich verstehen" works or is logical, but is there some reflexive verb which could?
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  • berndf

    German (Germany)
    No, verstehen can't take a dative object and therefore *Du musst dir verstehen is not possible.
    A accusative reflexive pronoun is possible but Du musst dich verstehen means something else, namely You have to understand yourself.


    Senior Member
    Du musst verstehen ...

    This can mean: "Du musst mich verstehen." - You must understand (my position/what I think/what I have done)

    Well, you have to understand, I cannot come tomorrow.

    Also, du musst verstehen, ich kann morgen nicht kommen.
    This can mean - as far as I understand:
    Also, du musst mich verstehen, ich kann morgen nicht kommen. Here definitely the emphatic sense is meant.

    It can mean
    Also, du musst den Fakt verstehen, ich kann morgen nicht kommen. (You have to grasp it that I cannot come tomorrow.)

    "Verstehen" has two meanings: grasp the meaning of - and understand (in an emphatic sense) - It is hard for me to translate this properly.

    As far as I understand, the English "understand" has both meanings, too.
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    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello Meyer Wolfsheim :)

    Could you please provide a situation and a whole English sentence in order to enable us to understand the usage that you intend?

    In some contexts "Du musst Dir klarmachen" or "Du solltest Dir darüber klar sein" might be apppropriate reflexive constructions. But it depends on the situation as a whole, the person that you are speaking to etc... the context.
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