For example, consider the sentence, “Ich springe hinein.” Is hinein considered to be the separable prefix of the verb hineinspringen or an adverb modifying the verb springen?

  • 1
    Yes, they can be considered both, and it is merely by convention that one is used more often.
    – Jan
    Nov 1, 2015 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, absolutely: hinein is an adverb, which may be used as a prefix in a compound. An adjective can also be used as a prefix, but nouns and verbs can't (at least with verbs).

The only distinction you (and me) have to learn is, that some verb-adverb pairs are so closely aligned, that both are written as one word for the infinitive form:

  • schönschreiben, but schön schreiben
  • wegfliegen, but weg reisen

Since the recent reforms, I always have to look that up in the Duden.

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    There is usually a difference in stress.
    – chirlu
    Nov 9, 2015 at 19:18
  • Maybe, but I'm afraid you confuse this with the rule for separable (?) verbs (whether a compound verb can be split). My focus here is, whether it is a compound at all.
    – Ralph
    Nov 9, 2015 at 20:54
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    And I’m saying that a compound vs. a sequence of words often differ in stress.
    – chirlu
    Nov 9, 2015 at 21:09
  • What @chirlu means is that schönschreiben is pronounced /'ʃø:n​ˌ​ʃraibən/ or related while schön schreiben is pronounced /​ˌ​ʃø:n'ʃraibən/ with an optional glottal stop between schön and schreiben.
    – Jan
    Nov 10, 2015 at 10:33

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