I'm always confused how to use these words. I'm wondering in which context they have usage. Are these expressions possible?

Du lebst in den USA, aber ich lebe in Deutschland, also sind wir auseinander.

Wir müssen nebeneinander laufen.

Sie passen zueinander.

Sie diskutieren immer noch miteinander.

And please, can someone explain the usage of others?

durcheinander,ohneeinander,voneinander etc.

  • 2
    Read "-einander" as "each other" and everything should be clearer. Sorry, had to VTC.
    – Stephie
    Oct 14, 2015 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


First, an answer about the possibility of the expressions:

The first one seems strange, the others are totally normal usage of the words. The reason why the first one seems strange is that "auseinander" is normally used in a processual description of a movement of two things that normally belonged to each other:

Sie haben sich auseinandergelebt.

Die Kontinente driften auseinander.

The "-einander"-words in general adverbials that endorse a reciproc structure of the actions of two seperate instances:

Wir müssen nebeneinander laufen.

The walking is described in a manner which has to be understood as a normative aspect: The action is attributed by "nebeneinander" so that the correct execution of the action includes a reciprocical bindingness. One cannot perform it for herself.

  • when i say "wir leben uns auseinander" would it be a correct experession, i mean "auseinander" requires a reciprocal(gegenseitig) action?
    – Dragut
    Oct 14, 2015 at 10:46
  • @Bergmann: When two people move in different directions, each of them increases the distance to the other.
    – chirlu
    Oct 14, 2015 at 10:50

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