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Is it necessary to write the prefix 'hin' in the sentence? Will it change the meaning of the sentence if it's added ?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

First of all you need to drop sich because that makes the sentence wrong gramatically. The sentence should be:

Die Regenwolke zieht nach Norden (hin).

hin is unnecessary here and the sentence probably will sound weird to many people if it's included. It is not gramatically wrong to include it though.

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What do you want to say?

The cloud is moving northwards?

The translation by adibender

Die Regenwolke zieht nach Norden (hin).

is suitable then.

An old-fashioned translation for this meaning would also be:

Die Regenwolke zieht gen Norden.

gen originates from gegen and means towards (the north).

But what about the translation from your question?

Die Regenwolke zieht sich nach Norden (hin).

This one is also correct, but means something different: The cloud isn’t moving northwards, it is stretched in a northern direction. In this case, hin is also optional but if used it emphasizes this meaning (might differ locally).

sich ziehen is used to express the following:

  • something takes a long time (Die Bearbeitung des Antrags zieht sich hin.)
  • something extends over a longer distance (Die Straße zieht sich durch das komplette Gebirge.)
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I heard it from the LOTR the rider of Rohan said : Reitet nach Norden! –  DerPolyglott33 Dec 30 '13 at 2:07
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