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"Mitkommen" is a trennbares Verb but often when it is used in a German sentence, mit does not get placed at the end of a sentence but rather in the middle, specifically before a location / destination is used in the sentence. Why is this? Is the rule that the prefix of trennbare Verben always gets placed at the end of a sentence in actual fact a rule of thumb, or is there more to the rule that I am not aware of.

For example why in these examples do we say:

"Kommst du mit ins Kino?" or "Anja kommt mit in die Schweiz.",

instead of

"Kommst du ins Kino mit?" or "Anja kommt in die Schweiz mit."

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Separable verbs: “hängt von … ab” or “hängt ab von …” – Arc676 Jul 14 '17 at 18:19
  • 1
    A German term for this is ausklammern - placing a part of the sentence outside the sentence bracket. Today this is often done with subordinate clauses so that the bracket does not become too big. But it can affect other parts of a sentence too. It's probably difficult to give a general rule when it can be done and when not. – RHa Jul 14 '17 at 18:56
  • "Anja kommt in die Schweiz mit." Sounds terrible. – TaW Jul 14 '17 at 20:23
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Your first guess is the right one: There is no rule that the prefix has to be always at the end of the Sentence. Some other exemples:

Er ging in die Welt hinaus.

Er ging hinaus in die Welt.

Oder:

Du siehst heute aus wie Herr Soundso

Du siehst heute wie Herr Soundso aus

EDIT:

I intentionally chose two exemples where both possibilities are almost equally good. As a native speaker, I did not know a reason why the particle can be placed in both ways. Google confirmed my guess: The attribute placed after the prefix in all those examples is not really necessary, the most important fact is already said, that is why you can place it after. My source, https://www.germanveryeasy.com/separable-verbs (paragraph 3), says, that those constructions are not correct german, but I'm sure that every german German teacher would accept them in a written text. In spoken language, your examples with the prefix at the end sound quite strange from my point of view.

  • Could you elaborate on where the prefix should come? Or a rule thereto. As is often the case trennbare Verben are introduced with the rule (or at least was the case for me) that the prefix should come at the end of the sentence. Short of developing a feeling for this, are there some rules to go by? – Aesir Jul 14 '17 at 17:15
  • Thanks for the edit, this made the answer with the provided source much clearer. Cheers. – Aesir Jul 14 '17 at 17:36
4

Both "Anja kommt in die Schweiz mit" and "Anja kommt mit in die Schweiz" are perfectly fine (for a native speaker, disregarding any rule books).

The former emphasizes the destination: this is more natural if there are multiple destinations: "Anja kommt in doe Schweiz mit. Sabine kommt nach Irland mit."

The latter emphasizes the fact that Anja joins the group over where the group is going. "Anja kommt mit in die Schweiz, Sabine nicht"

This difference is not strong though.

3

afaik in this case both are valid; but it´s more commonly used in the first form.

All other separable verbs however follow the rule you mentioned.
(Or let´s say: I can´t come up with another exception right now.)

3

I am wondering about this: While it may happen that the prefixes of (1) these separable verbs (hinausgehen, aussehen, mitkommen) can figure in both positions, it never happens that (2) many other verbs (aufbahren, beisetzen, zuschütten) have their prefixes follow the verb immediately.

The reason for this is this, I guess: Verbs of the first group are all intransitive verbs. The verb can be followed either immediately by its prefix or indirectly with an adverbial/prepositional phrase in between. Verbs of the second group are all transitive and require that their direct object (a noun or noun phrase ) follows the verb immediately, thus delaying the separate prefix.

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