Suppose I am building a modal sentence with a separable/trenbare verb. Does the verb at the end of the sentence still get separated ?

Is it "Ich muss gehen zurück"

Or "Ich muss zurückgehen" ?

  • 4
    The plain infinitive is never separated for separable verbs. – chirlu Feb 3 '16 at 23:41

The separable verb is only separated when it's used in second position in a main clause. In all other cases (last position in a subclause, as infinitive or participle) it's not separated. However, the past participle marker -ge- is inserted in between the prefix and the verb.

Ich gehe zurück.

Ich muss zurückgehen.

..., weil ich zurückgehe.

Ich bin zurückgegangen.


When modal verbs are used, the separable verbs stay intact:

E.g. Ich muss heimgehen.

When the separable verbs are used by themselves, they separate:

E.g. Ich komme heim.

Hope it helps.

  • what if it in relative construction is like: "er,der kommt heim." is this work somehow? – Dragut Feb 6 '16 at 22:02
  • Er, der gerade erst heimgekommen ist, ist mein Mann. – DerPolyglott33 Feb 6 '16 at 22:05
  • What if it is in present contruction like: "er, der jetzt kommt heim." or "er,der jetzt heimkommt" which works? – Dragut Feb 6 '16 at 22:28
  • The second one, dude – DerPolyglott33 Feb 6 '16 at 22:35

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