I wrote this in German:

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, nur meine Deutschkenntnisse zu verbessern, und nur mein Deutsch korrigiert zu werden.

In my mind, this was such a fine example of what may be called a multiple final clauses symmetry.

But a German speaker turned my original sentence into this one:

Ich bin nur hier auf dieser Seite um meine Deutschkenntnisse zu verbessern und damit mein Deutsch korrigiert wird.

When I read this sentence, I couldn't believe my eyes. My German interlocutor had just used two different types of final clauses (um ... zu and damit); and when I asked them why they had used this asymmetrical pattern of final clauses, I got no answer.

Why, then, was this asymmetrical pattern used instead of the perfectly grammatically symmetrical pattern that I had used in my original sentence?

Is there a grammatically objective reason for this?

  • 2
    That "perfectly grammatically symmetrical pattern" is grammatically wrong.
    – Eller
    Aug 7, 2017 at 11:32
  • @Eller Without explaining why it is so, your comment is not good enough for me. Aug 7, 2017 at 11:44
  • 1
    And I've noticed it just now - it's not even symmetrcial (whatever this means in this case). You have active and passive voice.
    – Eller
    Aug 7, 2017 at 11:53
  • Yup. "Um" doesn't make sense with the passive voice of the second sentence, so your little helper intuitively used "damit" instead. Maybe he/she then looked back and thought about changing the "um" to "damit" too, but realized that this would require some more modifications, and concluded that the sentence as presented is fine.
    – Annatar
    Aug 7, 2017 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


It would also be possible to correct your original sentence using a symmetrical pattern. It than would go like follows (if you want to highlight your German being corrected as your motivation):

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um meine Deutschkenntnisse zu verbessern und um mein Deutsch korrigiert zu bekommen.

or (if you want to highlight that you are the one being corrected):

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um meine Deutschkenntnisse zu verbessern und um korrigiert zu werden.

The transformed sentence you posted is correct as well. As far as I know, there is no grammatical reason for or against multiple final clauses symmetry.

German is my mother tongue, so this answer is based on my personal experience and knowledge.

  • @Rhayene: Wer sagt, dass es schlechter Stil sei? Aug 7, 2017 at 16:18
  • @Rhayene: Aber doch nicht "um". Aug 7, 2017 at 19:47

There are two mistakes in your sentence.

First, in that sort of infinitive construction, am um is required:

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um zu ...

Second, you cannot have a different subject after ", um ... zu ...". Therefore, a sentence like the following:

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um mein Deutsch korrigiert zu werden.

is incorrect, because the subject in the part after the comma is still "ich", and "mein Deutsch" adds a second subject, which is not grammatical.

You can write something like:

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um mein Deutsch zu korrigieren.

or, to use the passive voice:

Ich bin auf dieser Seite, um über richtiges Deutsch informiert zu werden.

because in these sentences "ich" is also the subject of the part after the comma. (Ich korrigiere mein Deutsch / Ich werde über richtiges Deutsch informiert)

  • Du korrigierst Dein Deutsch selbst? Wieso brauchst Du dann die Seite? "Um mein Deutsch korrigieren zu lassen". Aug 7, 2017 at 16:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.