Hoffentlich werde ich euch sehen, eine neue Fremdsprache lernen.

I want to say, “Hopefully I will see you guys learning a new language.”

Does this even make sense, or do I need to add a zu into the last part? I know the sentence sounds really off …

  • Yes, this sentence is definitely a mile off, it sounds like English literally translated into German. Infinitive constructions in German always use zu (unless the finite verb is a strong modal verb), but even if you add the zu, the sentence still sounds English. And speaking of off, this may well be off-topic, too; as it may be understood as a proofreading request (see the help center)
    – Jan
    Jan 31, 2016 at 0:35
  • 2
    „Hoffentlich werde ich euch eine neue Fremdsprache lernen sehen.“ I'm going to bed now, therefore I do not write a full answer.
    – Carsten S
    Jan 31, 2016 at 4:16
  • 1
    @Jan: Never say never, always qualify always. ;-)
    – chirlu
    Jan 31, 2016 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


A few verbs, among them in particular verbs of perception like sehen, can use a special construction called accusative and infinitive. In that construction, the plain infinitive without zu is used, and the person being seen doing something is put in accusative.

So your sentence isn’t far off, there is only a small word order issue: The second part of the main verb (if any) goes at the end of the sentence, after the accusative and infinitive:

Hoffentlich werde ich euch (acc.) eine neue Fremdsprache lernen (inf.) sehen.
Hoffentlich sehe ich euch (acc.) eine neue Fremdsprache lernen (inf.).

Commas can’t be used here.

Instead of an accusative and infinitive construction, a subordinate clause can always be used:

Hoffentlich werde ich sehen, wie ihr eine neue Fremdsprache lernt.


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