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I really did not understand why the verb "trauern" has two prepositions,which are "um" and "über", could you please me clarify?

Wir trauern um die Opfer der Gewalttat in München, die so plötzlich und grausam aus dem Leben gerissen worden sind. Ihren Angehörigen wünschen wir viel Kraft in diesen dunklen Stunden.

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    "über jmd./etw. trauern" sounds odd, do you have an example? – Raketenolli Aug 22 '16 at 9:39
  • @Raketenolli yes, of course here dict.tu-chemnitz.de/… its different usage – Dragut Aug 22 '16 at 12:47
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I understand the DWDS link guidot quoted differently.

trauern um is in my understanding used when you directly refer to an object, not the cirumstances

Sie trauert um ihren Vater
Sie trauert um ihren Ehering
Sie trauert um ihren Hamster

Personally I've never used nor heard trauern über, but from DWDS I understand that this can be used when you want to express that you're sad about something that happened to someone/something:

Sie trauert über den Verlust ihres Vaters
Sie trauert über das Verschwinden ihres Eherings
Sie trauert über den Tod ihres Hamsters

If you said

Sie trauert um den Tod ihres Hamsters

you'd mean that she mourns something which happened to the death of her hamster.

As I said above I've neither heard nor used trauern über before. Instead I'd have said

Sie betrauert den Tod ihres Hamsters

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According to DWDS, see box with DWB headline and to my personal instinct, one uses

  1. trauern um if a person (or even a pet) has died, so typically its name follows in the sentence.
  2. trauern über for all sorts of mishappenings, like the loss of a (precious) ring, long separation from a loved one etc.
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    Not really - I understand it as über is used if you refer to the cause of something happening to someone/something. In the DWDS example the person is sad about the loss of the silk scarf, not the silk scarf itself. If she mourned the silk scarf itself it would be Sie trauert um ihren Sidenschal. – Thorsten Dittmar Aug 22 '16 at 11:18
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"trauern" is normally only used with "um". You would say "Ich trauere um meinen Freund." but not "Ich trauere über meinen Freund". You also wouldn’t say "Ich trauere über das verlorene Foto.".

However the noun "Trauer" can be used with "über" if the following object is not the thing that is mourned for but the thing that caused the mourning. E.g. "Die Trauer über den Tod des Großvaters war groß." Here "über" must be used because it’s the happening that caused the mourning. E.g. "Die Trauer über den Großvater war groß." wouldn’t work because it’s not the happening but the person that died itself.

(It’s of course comprehensible if you use "über" in both cases but it doesn't sound very elegantly.)

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