Hätte sie mehr Zeit, so käme sie mit zur Party - If she had more time, she would come to the party

At first I thought that 'mit' was the separable prefix of 'mitkommen', but AFAIK in any case where the separable prefix is separated, it's always sent to the back of the clause.

Is that incorrect in this case? Or is 'mit zu' a term in itself? Or is the sentence just incorrectly written?

  • I'm pretty sure we already had a question about that. Can't find it right now. Anyway. You can place mit at both position before and after "zur Party". – Em1 Aug 3 '14 at 11:24
  • It is the prefix of mitkommen. This sentence uses the "Konjunktiv" – Andie2302 Aug 12 '14 at 14:08
  • Related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/9057/… – chirlu Feb 22 '16 at 7:44

When pulling the second part of a separable verb to the front, everything that remains on the right becomes the Nachfeld (afterfield or post-field) of a sentence. I think this is called right dislocation in English.

Hätte sie mehr Zeit, käme sie mit zur Party.

Not everything can be in the afterfield of a sentence, most importantly, the subject cannot (sie in our case). So this would be wrong:

Hätte sie mehr Zeit, käme mit sie zur Party.

Prepositional phrases (zur Party) can, but do not have to be in the afterfield. So this would be possible:

Hätte sie mehr Zeit, käme sie zur Party mit.

Nothing is bold because the afterfield is gone.

  • "Not everything can be in the afterfield of a sentence, most importantly, the subject cannot "... you're wrong about that: ... "Gestohlen wurde aus der Wohnung unter anderem ein Laptop." – Emanuel Aug 4 '14 at 11:10
  • @Emanuel That's not a valid analogy, look at the order of "gestohlen" and "wurde". – user6191 Aug 4 '14 at 12:42
  • Thought about it... you're right. – Emanuel Aug 4 '14 at 19:57

This is one of the cases of the "blurry edge" of prefix verbs. If we consider "mit" to be part of "mitkommen", then @Carlster is correct. The "zur Party" would be in the Nachfeld.

However, it is arguable, even doubt-worthy that "mit" is part of the verb. We can see that in past tense.

Sie ist zur Party mitgekommen. (Verb: mitkommen)

Sie ist mit zur Party gekommen. (Verb: kommen)

Such a split is not always possible

Ich bin rauf die Treppe gegangen ... wrong
Ich bin die Treppe raufgegangen... correct

My attempt at analysis:

Generally, a prefix-verb gets "shaky" whenever we add a constituent that the prefix originally was supposed to fill. "Mit" in "mitkommen" is a generic answer to "where?" she is coming.

She comes [along/home]

"Zur Party" answers the same question, thus we're having two constituents for the same thing. In that case, "mit" is less relevant/interesting than "zur Party", which is why "zur Party" feels like the proper last element. I am quite sure, the phrasing is used this way more often than the other way around.

  • Why on earth would mit not be a part of the predicate?? Assume your split is correct and using "mitkommen" is not - they still mean the same thing... – user6191 Aug 4 '14 at 13:51
  • 1
    If "mit" is not part of the verb then your "split" should be possible in all tenses. Can you give one or two more examples? I'm not sure this "split" is standard German. – user6191 Aug 4 '14 at 13:52
  • @Carlster... I never mentioned "predicate" for I don't know what that is (nor do I care). As for examples "Ich werde mit zur Party kommen", "Ich hatte gern mit zur Party kommen wollen". It is possible in all tenses. Is it standard German? Yes... I tried posting a full link but it wouldn't work so search for the following phrase on Google: "sie * mit zur * kommen" ... you will get millions of results, plenty of which are in "print" – Emanuel Aug 4 '14 at 20:01

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