I'm learning about the "Trennbare Verben" now. So far, I have learned that some prefixes are separated from the main verb, and that it should be put at the very end of the sentence. I have come across a list, which was titled "Trennbar sind". Some of the verbs are:

  • abfahren
  • ankommen
  • aufstehen
  • zurückkommen
  • umsteigen

Now, when we use "abfahren", we separate the verb.

Er fährt ... ab.

However, the verbs "weggehen" and "umsteigen" are not separated when used in a sentence, although they come under the "separable verbs" category. Why is that? And how do I know if the prefix should be put at the end of the sentence or not?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Carsten S, chirlu, Jan, Crissov, boaten Apr 29 '16 at 19:54

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    Where did you learn that those verbs aren’t separated? That’s plain wrong, they behave exactly the same as abfahren: Er geht weg. Er steigt um. – chirlu Apr 29 '16 at 12:49
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    Are you aware that the infinitive form of a verb is not separated? When using modal verbs, for instance, you say: "Darf ich abfahren?" and not "Darf ich fahren ab?" There are further other examples, even finite forms are not always separated. – Em1 Apr 29 '16 at 13:32
  • @chirlu OP basically said: "These verbs are not separated although they claim they were separated." So, I guess he encountered a sentence in which they're plainly not separated for good reason. – Em1 Apr 29 '16 at 13:35
  • @Em1: The OP also cited the infinitive abfahren (correctly written unseparated) as an example for a verb that does have a movable prefix. – chirlu Apr 29 '16 at 13:46
  • @chirlu And in the same list, he mentioned "umsteigen"... – Em1 Apr 29 '16 at 13:52

It looks like you have snapped some wrong information. The verbs are separated, just as you would expect.

I suppose you might have seen them in a sentence like:

Ich will nicht, dass du weggehst.

In this case, when the verb is at the end of a sentence (due to other grammatical rules), we write it together - doesn't matter which prefix it has.

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