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When do you remove "daran"?

A: Woher kommst du nochmal?

B: Ich komme aus Berlin.

A: Ich erinnere mich.

Why is the "daran" removed here?

Can it also be not removed in this context?

A: Woher kommst du nochmal?

B: Ich komme aus Berlin.

A: Ich erinnere mich daran

What will the meaning of the sentence be if the "daran" is there?

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Can you imagine situations where both of the English sentences “I remember” and “I remember that” were appropriate? – Carsten S Jan 11 '14 at 12:49
This sounds very much like a literal translation from English. When talking informally like in your example, you'd probably not say "ich erinnere mich" but "achja, richtig" or such. You would use erinnern in e.g., "erinnerst du dich noch an die Frau von der Uniparty letzten Monat?" – Robert Apr 13 at 16:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The daran can have several meanings here:

  1. the fact, that B is from Berlin.
  2. the fact, that A told B he was from Berlin earlier.
  3. the actual event when B came from Berlin.

But you can also have the sentence mean the same without daran.

The difference is, what meaning an average native speaker will think of most likely:

  • Without daran, an average native speaker will most likely think of meaning 1.
  • With daran, an average native speaker will most likely think of meaning 3.

Be aware, that this likelyhood estimation is my own subjective one.

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Daran is a short form for da dran or an das. So it's used to emphasize an actual fact one is talking about. Compare the following:

A: Wo wohnst Du?
B: In Berlin. Solltest Du wissen.
A: Ich erinnere mich nicht.
B: Doch, du hast mich letztes Jahr besucht.
A: Stimmt, daran erinnere ich mich.

So here the daran emphasizes that he remembers the visit.

In your example, it is better left away, because A remembers the whole thing about his friend comming from Berlin. It isn't wrong, though as it will be understood in the sense of ich erinnere mich, daran, dass du mir das schonmal gesagt hast.

So in general, the word is often optional and does not change the meaning significantly.

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Echt? I thought always "daran" was more fundamental than "da dran". That is, for lots of prepositions there exists the construction da+Präp (darum, darüber, darauf, darin, dagegen, dafür...) So I thought that it was natural that "daran" could be actually come from this construction. – c.p. Jan 11 '14 at 9:57
From my felling, "daran" ist really just a shortcut for the long forms, although a very common one. – PMF Jan 11 '14 at 14:37

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