Laura Middleton
Einkaufen????? Hi, I would be very grateful if someone could explain why the following sentences are structured in the following ways. 1. Ich gehe einkaufen 2. Dann gehe ich in den Supermarkt und kauft ein. I know that 'einkaufen' is a separable verb and therefore that the prefix separates from the main part and usually goes to the end of the sentence. But why does this not happen in sentence one; namely; Ich gehe kaufe ein?????? I cannot find a satisfactory explanation anywhere and hope that someone may be able to help? Thanks Laura Thank you very much to Domasala and Rob for your answers. I hope you don't mind, but I'm still a bit confused. I know that modal verbs are used with the infinitive, but what grammatical rule defines that 'gehen' is used with the infinitive, and what other words are also used with the infinitive? Thanks again Laura
May 16, 2010 2:46 PM
Answers · 4
Hi Laura, if I read the other answers correctly, one question remains unanswered: which other verbs may be used in the same way? Three answers: - http://www.d-seite.de/grammatik/infinitiv.html provides some examples - verbs describing senses (hören, sehen, ...) examples: Ich höre ihn wegfahren. (I hear him driving away) Ich sehe sie kommen. (I see her coming) - brauchen (used to need "zu" but apparently this rule has changed; I did not know this until today); bleiben Er bleibt auf dem Stuhl sitzen (he remains sitting on the chair) hope this helps regards, Otto
May 16, 2010
In the first sentence you are using the pattern: "gehen + infinitive" Ich gehe einkaufen ich gehe tanzen ich gehe spazieren. In the second sentence you are not using this pattern. The word 'und' breaks it. Therefore there is no infinitive in that sentence.
May 16, 2010
"und" is the connector of a shortened sentence stating you will go away with another sentence about what you will do there (shopping). "Ich gehe (hinaus/weg/in den Supermarkt) und kaufe ein." would be correct. Not "Ich gehe kaufe ein." "Ich gehe zum Einkaufen." is another option. Mind the upper-case "E" when using "zum". "Ich gehe zum Tanzen." "Ich gehe zum Spazierengehen." Going to stroll somewhere else.
May 16, 2010
There is a simple answer to your question: no German (or English) verb can directly govern a finite verb as its complement. Note that "gehen" (and "go") used to be transitive (cf. Latin "Eo Romam" = "I go Rome", instead of the later "Eo ad/in Romam"), and, in fact, you still have remnants of that early construction in "I go home" (English) and "heimgehen" in German, as well as in "I go shopping/swimming/...etc. (where the -ing forms are verbal nominals and to that extent natural complements of transitive verbs), as in "Ich gehe spazieren/tanzen/schwimmen," etc. Now, the infinitive is simply a verbal noun (in Spanish it may still even be used with an article: "El ir a casa me hace ilusión", "Odio el ir a casa") and to that extent "einkaufen", etc. supply a natural complement to older transitives like "gehen": "Ich gehe einkaufen/spazieren/wschwimmen... etc. are well formed because they satisfy the selection requirements of "gehen" (as of modals, causatives, etc.). On the contrary, in German, English, and as far as I know, in most other European languages, a tensed verb like "kaufE ein" is always excluded as a direct complement of ANY verb (it may figure inside a clause, but in that case the complement is the clause, not the finite verb). This nicely explains why your second sentence, "*Ich gehe kaufe ein" is ill-formed. In certain African languages and in Mandarin, where such serial verbs may be finite, at least in meaning (and carry guò, -lè, etc.), it would be perfectly canonical, :-). Best Luis
May 16, 2010
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Laura Middleton
Language Skills
English, German
Learning Language
German