I came across this phrase

Schade, dass wir nicht mitfeiern können

which means

Shame we can’t be there to celebrate with you

but I couldn’t find more examples of these word. I think it translates something like celebrate with you. Is it correct that it is used with 2nd person singular?

3 Answers 3


»Mitfeiern« means »celebrate with someone else« and it can be used with any grammatical person. If you want to translate it into one english word, you best think of something like co-celebrate, in a similar meaning as co-exist or co-work.

Ich würde gerne mit euch mitfeiern.
I would like to celebrate with you. (plural-you)

Ich würde gerne mit dir mitfeiern.
I would like to celebrate with you. (singular-you)

Du kannst gerne mit uns mitfeiern.
You are welcome to celebrate with us.

Möchte deine Frau auch mit uns mitfeiern?
Does your wife also want to celebrate with us?

Hast du gehört? Hans hätte auch gerne mit Sabine und Ilse mitgefeiert.
Did you hear? Hans also would have liked to celebrate with Sabine ans Ilse.

btw: In your example you did not translate the sentence correctly. This is a translation, that is closer to the original meaning:

Schade, dass wir nicht mitfeiern können.
Shame, that we can't celebrate with whoever is celebrating.

(The context of the german sentence doesn't tell you who is celebrating. It could be you, or it could also be them)

Shame we can’t be there to celebrate with you.
Schade, dass wir nicht dort sein können um mit dir/euch zu feiern.

(The english context doesn't make clear, if you is singular or plural)

  • I find some of your examples questionable. For example, what is the differencee between "Ich würde gern mit euch feiern." and "Ich würde gern mit euch mitfeiern" except that the latter is probably simply wrong, or at least "doppelt-gemoppelt" without need.
    – Ingo
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 18:49
  • 3
    @Ingo: »Ich würde gerne mit euch feiern« means: »I want to celebrate a party with you. If you don't want, then there is no party, and nobody is celebrating at all.« But »Ich würde gerne mit euch mitfeiern« means: »You are already celebrating a party. Please let me join to your party. If you don't let me join, its just me who doesn't celebrate, but you will celebrate anyway.« Commented May 20, 2015 at 19:03
  • Hubert, I think it is a matter of how the words are stressed. If the stress is on "feiern", you are right, but I can express the "taking part in an ongoing party" either by stressing the "mit" in "Ich möchte mit euch feiern." or I can simply say "Ich möchte mitfeiern." (as the "mit euch" is most probably redundant)
    – Ingo
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 19:08
  • 4
    @Ingo.. to me "mit euch feiern" sounds formal while "mit euch mitfeiern" sounds idiomatic and how I would talk. And there are plenty more examples in German where you'd double a preposition. "Ins Cafe reingehen", "an die Wand ranmachen", "ins Auto reinlegen"... all not pretty but that's how people talk.
    – Emanuel
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 20:53

Your translation is correct. Mitfeiern is handled as "mit" + verb.

So, it exists as mitgehen, mitkommen, mitessen, mitmachen. It does not require the negation of course, and for translating you need the context: it could be with me or with us:

möchtest Du [mit mir / uns] mitkommen?

with you:

kann ich [mit dir / euch] mitfahren?

or with him/them

Du kannst [mit ihm / ihnen] im Auto mitfahren.

  • 2
    For completion... "mitfeiern" can also refer to the cause of the celebration rather than the people. "Wir feiern meinen Gebrutstag und meine Beförderung gleich mit."
    – Emanuel
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 16:40

"Mitverben" can often be translated literally as "verb along". The identity, person and number of co-verbers are unspecified and must be determined pragmatically if required.

The German prefix mit- is productive, i.e. basically you can apply it to every verb. Some forms such as mitgehen, mitkommen, mitfeiern, mitessen, mittrinken, mitreden are used so often that they make it into dictionaries and may even undergo shifts of meaning. Others are made up on the spot on the rare occasions when they make sense:

Willst du die Bleistiftkritzeleien allein entfernen, oder soll ich mitradieren?

For intransitive verbs, "mitverben" typically means that the subject verbs (or the subjects verb) along with someone else. Who that is can be made explicit:

mit jemand mitverben

But conversely, whenever you can say "mit jemand (oder etwas) verben", you can use "mitverben" instead and then optionally drop "mit jemand (oder etwas)". Example:

mit dem Strom mitschwimmen (The stream doesn't actually swim.)

For transitive verbs, these cases where it's not as simple as several people being joint subjects are more frequent because the construction also works with parallel objects. Example:

Der Gesetzesentwurf sieht vor, dass die Fahrkartenkontrolleure in grenzüberschreitenden Zügen die Ausweise der Fahrgäste mitkontrollieren.

This is ambiguous. It could mean either "mit den Grenzbeamten mitkontrollieren" (subject sharing) or "mit den Fahrkarten mitkontrollieren" (object sharing). The same way that in English, the ticket inspectors in cross-border trains may control passengers' ids "along with" either the border officials or passengers' tickets. In English it would be a bit odd to say that they are "controlling the ids along" without specifying who or what they are controlling them along with, but in German that's perfectly idiomatic.

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