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Is that sentence correct? I thought simply

Das Buch wird immer uns gehören

should be enough. If "zu uns" is correct, is it just to reinforce? Is there a rule as to when use it?

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Was willst Du denn sagen? "Das Buch gehört uns" ist eine Aussage zu Besitz und Eigentum, "gehört zu uns" eine über Identität und Kultur. – user unknown Sep 23 '13 at 23:56
Ich habe den Unterschied schon verstanden, danke. Ist "eine Aussage zu etw." das gleiche als "eine Aussage über etw."? – karoshi Sep 24 '13 at 10:52
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is a bit hard to judge that without context. Without context I would think that

Das Buch gehört uns.

is correct, it means that we own the book. On the other hand

Das Buch gehört zu uns.

means that we and the book belong together or that the book is a part of us. That would be somewhat unusual, but I can imagine contexts in which that would be right.

A more typical example of „gehört zu“ would be a situation where someone sees a seemingly lost child. They might then ask

Zu wem gehört das Kind?

Someone in a group of people might then answer

Es gehört zu uns.

meaning that the child is with that group, is part of the group (and they possibly did not notice the child wandering off). Here „gehört uns“ would certainly be wrong, because they do not own the child.

Gratuitous pop cultural reference:

Er gehört zu mir wie mein Name an der Tür.

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That seems like a very subtle difference to me. I take the form without "zu" is then what's normally used? – karoshi Sep 23 '13 at 14:54
Yes, @karoshi. It's the much simpler statement of the two. "Das Buch wird immer uns gehören" -- "The book will always be ours". – elena Sep 23 '13 at 15:09
@karoshi Not so subtle actually. I have expanded the answer a bit, does that help? – Carsten S Sep 23 '13 at 15:34
@CarstenSchultz yes, now I see what you mean. Thanks! – karoshi Sep 23 '13 at 15:55

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