In the sentence

Dies ist vor allen Dingen Ihrem Einsatz zu verdanken.

why the verb verdanken is in its "infinitive clause" why was it preceded by zu ?

  • 2
    What makes you doubt about it? – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 14:55
  • Would it differ if i removed Zu in the sentence Dies ist vor allen Dingen Ihrem Einsatz verdanken – Martina Milad Mar 31 '18 at 15:01
  • 2
    Yes, zu is needed for the infinite form here. "Dies ist vor allen Dingen Ihrem Einsatz verdanken" doesn't make any sense. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 15:03
  • can you please explain why Zu is needed i'm sorry but i didn't find any good websitte for expaining this case here TIA – Martina Milad Mar 31 '18 at 15:18
  • 1
    A simple google query gives me numerous results to explain that. It's more or less the same as to in english infinitive forms of verbs. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 15:23

This is a construction that you will find very often in German sentences. The verb is a form of a modal verb and it comes together with the preposition »zu« (to) and the infinitive form of another word. In English there is a very similar construction.

Ich habe viel zu tun.
I have much to do.

And in your sentence there is this construction:

Dies ist Ihrem Einsatz zu verdanken.
This is your efforts to thank. (word order as in German)
This is thanks to your efforts. (better English)

  • The "to" in "thanks to your efforts" is now a preposition, though. – Sebastian Redl Apr 3 '18 at 15:24

It is, I think, reasoning why the "zu" is needed does not lead to very helpful conclusions. This is simply the form to express something like this in German. (For a grammatical analysis of the construct see Hubert's answer.)

One can, however, give various sentences that all are well-formed so you can see the different syntactical options you have to express more or less the same thing.

Dieser Erfolg ist vor allen Dingen Ihrem Einsatz zu verdanken.

Diesen Erfolg verdanken wir vor allen Dingen Ihrem Einsatz.

Diesen Erfolg verzeichnen wir ausschließlich dank Ihres Einsatzes.

Diesen Erfolg konnten wir ausschließlich dank Ihres außerordentlichen Einsatzes verzeichnen.

Dieser Erfolg verdankt sich Ihrem Einsatz

(Attention, the last one is so unusual that some people may find it even wrong; in my judgement it is technically possible, but awkward.)

Here are some sentences with an opposite message:

Dieser Misserfolg ist vor allem Ihrer Faulheit geschuldet.

Dieser Misserfolg beruht auf Ihrer Faulheit.

You can also use "verdanken" here, but then your sentence will sound sarcastic:

Diesen Misserfolg verdanken wir Ihrer Faulheit.

Dieser Misserfolg ist Ihrer Faulheit zu verdanken.

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