I'm reading Kleiner Eisbär, wohin fährst du? von Hans de Beer but I'm puzzled by this sentence:

Lars kam sich unendlich verlassen vor.

If verlassen is a reflexive verb as the word sich suggests, then the sentence means Lars depends on his father. But if verlassen is an adjective then the sentence appears to read as "Lars came himself endlessly deserted before." I can't figure out how the words sich and vor function in this sentence.

2 Answers 2


Verlassen is an adjective here. The predicate is vorkommen. The closest translation keeping the structure of the sentence is

Lars seemed endlessly deserted to himself.

while in an English text you would probably just say

Lars felt endlessly deserted.

Vorkommen is not necessarily reflexive, it can be used in this sense with any kind of indirect object, e.g.

Die Situation kam mir/dir/dem Mann seltsam vor.

  • Ah! I did not realize that vor was a separable verb prefix in this sentence.
    – rsrobbins
    Commented Jul 2, 2011 at 22:28

In this sentence, verlassen is a participle, "left alone".

sich vorkommen can be translated as "feel like".

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