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Supposing we have the following sentence:

I cannot speak yet so good German. That's why I came [here] with an interpreter.

Which of the following senteces would translate it better?

Ich kann noch nicht sehr gut Deutsch sprechen. Deshalb bin ich mit einem Dolmetscher gekommen.

or

Ich kann noch nicht sehr gut Deutsch sprechen. Deshalb bin ich einen Dolmetscher mitgekommen.

In other words, should I use the verb mitkommen, or just the verb kommen and mit preposition?

  • Please note that the correct spelling is "deshalb" not "deschalb". The "sh" in "deshalb" doesn't represent a "ship"-sound but is more like in "mishap". And don't you want to say "that's why I came..." instead of "that's because I came..."? – Chris Apr 22 '15 at 12:34
  • Yes @Chris, you are right. I made the edits. Thank you – Vassilis De Apr 22 '15 at 12:37
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As you noted, there are two verbs that can be used in this situation: mitkommen and mit jemandem kommen. However, the verb mitkommen still needs a preposition. You could say (depending on the situation):

Kommen: Deshalb bin ich mit einem Dolmetscher gekommen.

or

Mitkommen: Deshalb bin ich mit einem Dolmetscher mitgekommen.

The second sentence implies that you came along with the translator. My guess is that it should be actually the other way around: The translator accompanies you, not you him/her. So you could say "Deshalb ist ein Dolmetscher mit mir mitgekommen." The first of the above sentences implies that you both came together.


For non-native speakers it is often a bit puzzling that there are situations where you use both the preposition and the prefix. However, for German native speakers this is a natural thing and can be found in various situations:

Ich will nicht durch die Menschenmenge durchgehen.
Er muss sich an der Kasse anstellen.
Deshalb stellt er sich an der Kasse an. (separable verb)
Sie kann schnell auf das Pferd aufspringen.
...

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  • Ah, you beat me by 28 seconds ;) – Jan Apr 22 '15 at 12:44
  • So, if I got it right, it would be more correct to use passive voice here, in order to refer to the translator? – Vassilis De Apr 22 '15 at 12:52
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    No, the verb in "deshalb ist er/sie mit mir mitgekommen" is in active voice. "Er/sie ist mitgekommen" is in present perfect (Perfekt). It's the same time/mode/etc. as in "deshalb bin ich mit ihm/ihr mitgekommen". (I only swapped the roles of who came along with whom.) – Chris Apr 22 '15 at 12:57
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The first sentence is correct.

The second sentence is wrong grammar. It should be habe instead of bin and mitgenommen instead of mitgekommen.

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  • 1
    but there is also the verb mitkommen. Doesn't it mean "I come with sb or sth"? – Vassilis De Apr 22 '15 at 12:39
  • The typos has been fixed. Could you please update your answer? Typos are usually not discussed in answers, except they are the cause of the question. Thanks. – Em1 Apr 22 '15 at 14:13

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