I’m currently reading Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen.

I am managing to comprehend a bit of it (I’m far from fluent in German) although the first sentence in the book is really confusing to me.

What I can’t seem to understand is the following sentence:

Mr. und Mrs. Dursley im Ligusterweg Nummer 4 waren stolz darauf, ganz und gar normal zu sein, sehr stolz sogar.

I would interpret that as:

Mr and Mrs Dursley in the number 4 Privet Drive were proud (on it?) absolutely proud to be normal (very proud even?).

This just doesn’t make sense in my opinion but maybe I’m over-analyzing it? I just can’t see what the need is for the words darauf and sogar in this sentence. I’d appreciate any clarification greatly.


6 Answers 6


The English term would be proud of it, and the second part would indeed be very proud even.

to be proud of something translates to auf etwas stolz sein. Using darauf instead of auf makes the sentence reference something which came before or afterwards in the sentence. Compare:

  • Er ist stolz auf sein Fahrrad. (He is proud of his bicycle.)

  • Er hat ein Fahrrad und ist stolz darauf. (He has a bicycle and is proud of it.)

  • Er ist stolz darauf, ein Fahrrad zu haben. (He is proud of having a bicycle.)

The darauf references the ein Fahrrad haben, the “act” of having a bicycle.

  • Wo ist das sogar? :)
    – c.p.
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 11:35
  • Very proud indeed.
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 13:38
  • If I may add, an easy way to remember what “daruf” means is to realize that it even sounds similar to “thereof” in English: He’s got a bike and he is proud thereof.
    – Dr_Zaszuś
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 21:27

One translation would be

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley were proud of being normal through and through. Very proud actually.

As Frerich said in his answer, the darauf indicates that the thing of which they are proud will be described in the following part of the sentence.

The word sogar means even/actually/as a matter of fact.


Closer look on darauf:

[Ich habe ein Fahrrad.]
Ich bin stolz auf das Fahrrad. >> I am proud of the bike.
Da bin ich stolz drauf. >> Of that , I am proud. (Dathat → having a bike)
Ich bin stolz darauf. >> I am proud of it. (it → having a bike)

Directly translated, “Stolz darauf sein” or — splitting darauf — “Stolz da drauf sein”, means something like “Being proud on that”.

The r is a binding letter:

… auf das … -->> … drauf … [on that / of that]
… in dem … -->> … drin … [in{to} that]
… um das (herum) … -->> … darum (herum) … [around that]


Darauf is one of the da-adverbs that replace the construction (preposition) etwas in standard speech. In this case, the verb stolz sein requires a prepositional object with auf, so whatever you are proud of needs to be added with auf. For example:

Ich bin stolz auf meinen Sohn.

In the case of your sentence, the object what they are proud of is, in fact, a complete infinitive construction. These cannot immediately follow a preposition but need to be references by a demonstrative pronoun — either using auf das but that is very colloquial or by using darauf. So the best Englihs translation for the first bit is:

Mr and Mrs Dursley of 4 Privet Drive were proud to be completely and utterly normal.

Sogar is, as Thorsten pointed out, a kind of re-reference to the previous sentence along the lines of even, actually or as a matter of fact. So the second sentence could be translated:

In fact, (they were) very proud.


Mr and Mrs Dursley in the number 4 Privet Drive were proud (on it?) absolutely proud to be normal (very proud even?).

It could be translate like this:

Mr and Mrs Dursley in the number 4 Privet Drive were proud, absolutely proud to be normal.

The "darauf" and "sehr sogar" refers to "normal", which turns into a subject.

It tries to strengthen the verbs... typical way in german to make something even better than it actually is. If I am proud, I could be prouder, but nobody would say that, wouldn't them?


The da comes from the Fingerzeig-"da!", it points to an to-be-emphasized entity referenced before or after - in this case being normal.

'Sogar' indices that this property of normalness is commonly being viewed unfavorably up upon so it is interpreted as being unexpectedly proud. (Sogar is always tied to common values and beliefs)

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