Why do we say:

Ich gehöre nicht hierher.

when refering to a city, as opposed to:

Ich gehöre nicht hier.

I find hier more logical because there is no movement involved.

  • 3
    Asking for logic in a language is generally considered not useful.
    – tofro
    May 5, 2016 at 10:15
  • 3
    Das Verb heißt 'hierhergehören' daher stimmt nur 'hierher' und nicht 'hier' duden.de/rechtschreibung/hierhergehoeren
    – Iris
    May 6, 2016 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


The word »gehören« tells where to you have to put or move something:

Das Kleid liegt auf dem Bett. Es gehört aber in den Schrank.
The dress is laying on the bed. But it belongs into* the cabinet.

*) I intentionally use »into« here, because this the way how »gehören« works in German. Also in my next examples I use a grammatically germanized English, to show you how »gehören« works.

Deine Hose liegt auf dem Boden. Sie gehört aber nicht hierher. Sie gehört in den Schrank.
Your trousers are laying on the floor. But they don't belong to here. They belong into the cabinet.

When playing puzzles:

Kannst du mit sagen, wohin dieses Puzzleteil gehört?
Can you tell me, where to this piece belongs?

So, the phrase »an einen Ort gehören« means: Where to do I have to move this thing, to give it it's correct place?

When you say:

Ich gehöre nicht hierher.

then it is a shorter was to say:

When I move to this place here, then I will not be at my correct place.


This is not the correct place for me to move to.

You can say this when you are somewhere else, but also if you already are at this place (like the trousers on the floor, that don't belong to the floor).

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