In the sentence, "Why don't you come along to drink coffee?"

Is it right to say "Warum kommst du nicht Kaffee trinken mit?" Or "Warum kommst du nicht mit Kaffee trinken?"

Grammatically, I think it should be the first one, but for some reason I feel like something is wrong with it. Any feedback is appreciated

EDIT: I just saw another sentence: Alle bringen etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mit.

As you see, "mit" is clearly at the end. Any explanation regarding why "mit" cannot be in the end of the sentence in my first example?

The final question is, aren't separable prefixes supposed to go to the end of the sentence? What is the reason for "mit" to NOT go the end of the clause and precede "Kaffee trinken"?

  • 1
    In the sentence 'alle bringen etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mit' you have one verb phrase (predicate) 'etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mitbringen'. It doesn't mean 'wir bringen etwas mit' + 'dann essen und trinken wir'. In 'warum kommst du nicht mit Kaffee trinken?' you have two verb phrases (predicates): 'mitkommen' and 'einen Kaffee trinken'. The second verb phrase is independent of 'mitkommen', it's like a second sentence, the whole structure meaning: 'komm doch mit, wir trinken Kaffee'. Apr 24, 2018 at 6:13
  • So, if I understood correctly, I could add a comma before "Kaffee trinken" and the sentence could still be right? Also, I assume if we added any other parts of speech to this sentence (just not another predicate), let's say "heute", it would precede "mit" right? Like, "Warum kommst du heute nicht mit, Kaffee trinken?" Apr 24, 2018 at 23:39
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    As I said, all those sentences are colloquial an d not standard German. If you add a comma it will still be colloquial and not standard German. Your sentence with 'heute' ist perfectly colloquial as well. A similar sentence in the present perfect coud be: 'Warum bist du gestern nicht mitgegangen schwimmen?' (coll.) But you can also say: 'Warum bist du gestern nicht mit schwimmen gegangen?' (coll.) Apr 26, 2018 at 17:25
  • Thanks for the info, but if in the sentence "alle bringen etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mit" there is only one predicate then doesn't this apply to my main sentence too? "Kaffee trinken mitkommen"? My confusion is simple: "mit" precedes an infinite WITHOUT zu, but follows it with zu. Is "zu" key here? May 1, 2018 at 6:27
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    I'm not sure but I think an infinitive clause with 'zu' is almost always placed at the end. I'll look it up tomorrow, but except some sentences that today sound outdated or 'lofty style' like 'er hat zu bezahlen vergessen' or 'ich hatte schon zu arbeiten angefangen' you will have to put 'zu + infinitive' structures at the end. May 2, 2018 at 19:59

7 Answers 7


This posting is about the syntactical status of 'mit' in the question 'warum kommst du nicht mit(,) Kaffee trinken'. I think it is not a separable verb prefix but an adverbial, a short form for saying 'mit mir oder mit uns zusammen'.

Let's assume four young people who came in one car to a party and who now want to go back home. Perhaps one of them stays there, he has found another driver for his way back. The next day one of them tells a friend:

1 Peter ist nicht mit uns nach Hause gefahren(, er ist noch eine Stunde länger dageblieben).

He can also say:

2 (Wir waren schon um 11 Uhr wieder da weg, aber) Peter ist nicht mit nach Hause gefahren, er wollte noch bleiben.

He would not say:

3 ???Peter ist nicht nach Hause mitgefahren


4 Peter ist nicht (um 11) mit uns nach Hause gefahren /

5 Peter ist nicht (um 11) mit uns nach Hause zurückgefahren /

6 Peter ist nicht (um 11) mit zurückgefahren …

So the first complement of the verb is a local adverbial: nach Hause, zurück. The second complement saying that Peter didn't participate in the group activity (the common drive home) is 'mit uns' or 'mit'. Here, 'mit' is not a separable verb prefix, it's rather an adverb taking the same place as 'zusammen' in similar sentences:

7 wir sind zusammen nach Hause gefahren

8 Peter ist mit nach Hause gefahren.

Referred to your 'mit-Kaffee-trinken' example you can say: The predicates are not 'mitkommen' and 'Kaffee trinken' but 'kommen' and 'Kaffee trinken' and the speaker suggests to do both together with the speaker and perhaps further people joining the group, denoted by a relatively free-standing 'mit'.

More examples:

9 Hast du mit an diesem Text gearbeitet?

10 Willst du nicht nächstes Wochenende mit im Schwarzwald wandern?

11 Peter hat die Geburtstagsfeier mit vorbereitet / … hat mit die Geburtstagsfeier vorbereitet.

As far as I can see, in many sentences you cannot definitely distinguish between 'mit' as an adverbial and as a separated verb prefix. In stead of 9 you could also say:

12 Hast du an diesem Text mitgearbeitet?

But you could not say

13 ??Willst du nicht im Schwarzwald mitwandern? but 14 Willst du nicht mit im Schwarzwald wandern?


15 ?Peter hat alles für die Feier mitvorbereitet but 16 Peter hat alles für die Feier mit vorbereitet.

  • Thank you, so had "mit" actually been a separable prefix, it would have definitely gone to the end of the sentence right? May 1, 2018 at 23:19
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    The point is that you cannot clearly say whether a detached adverbial verb prefix is still a verb prefix or a normal adverb. It's in-between and both at the same time. Is 'raus' in wir fahren raus in die Berge wandern a verb prefix of 'rausfahren' or is it a simple adverb meaning 'aus der Stadt heraus'? In the present perfect however you could say 'wir sind in die Berge rausgefahren wandern'. Don't forget that an old school German teacher would say: That's not correct German, you have to say 'wir sind hinaus in die Berge gefahren, um zu wandern.' May 2, 2018 at 13:43
  • But had we assumed that it is actually part of the separable prefix then one could say Warum kommst du nicht Kaffee trinken mit? it seems. May 2, 2018 at 16:35
  • I'm sorry to say that this would be quite unusual. 'Mit' in this sentence is a shortened 'mit mir oder anderen zusammen', so for me it's a lot more a free standing adverb than a closely integrated part of the verb, and it refers as well to kommen as to Kaffee trinken. I understand that you want a rule saying that the separable verb prefixes have to be placed at the end. In order to get that you cannot test the rule on sentences that breaking the rules of standard German contain as a non standard structure an infinitive without 'zu' . Apart from that you would rather say [weiter ...] May 2, 2018 at 20:15
  • [... weiter] 'kommst du mit in die Stadt?' than 'kommst du in die Stadt mit'. Generally speaking I'd like to repeat once more: Your question ist not a question of separable verb elements but a question of order of the constituents of sentences. I'm afraid to say that it will not be possible to write a new German grammar of irregular sentences in order tu satisfy you. May 2, 2018 at 20:23

This kind of construction is a grammatical virtue (power, potency) of 'mitkommen', 'mitgehen', 'mitmachen' and possibly further verbs, to some extent even of 'mitmachen':

1 Sie wollte nicht mitkommen schwimmen.

2 Gehst du morgen mit angeln?

3 Kannst du mir bitte (mit)helfen die Gardinen aufhängen?

4a (?) Willst du nicht mitmachen (die) Eier verstecken? (am Tag vor Ostern)

4b ??Wir brauchen noch Leute, die nach der Party mitmachen aufräumen.

4c ???Mach doch bitte mit die die Musikanlage aufbauen.

All those sentences are colloquial and not accepted in standard German. The structure 'mit+verb + infinitive' ist part of the 'Rektion' of the verbs 'mitkommen', 'mitgehen', 'mithelfen' ..., the particle 'mit-' meaning here 'to participate in the (leisure) activity of a group of people'.

Both verbs can colloquially be expanded by objects or adverbials:

5 Kommst du morgen mit uns (mit) im Hegau wandern?

6 Sie half ihrer Freundin mit die Umzugskisten hochtragen.

For me the second verb - the verb in the infinitve - is either a shortened 'Infinitiv mit zu'

3' Kannst du mir bitte mithelfen, die Gardinen aufzuhängen?

or a juxtaposition of two verbal phrases that in other occurences may be coordinated by 'und':

3'' Kannst du mir bitte mithelfen und die Gardinen aufhängen?

like in

7 Erst sagt er, er macht es für 12 Euro die Stunde, und hinterher geht er her und will das doppelte.

or in

8 Du kannst dich doch nicht hinstellen und im Ernst behaupten, dass man Chinesisch auf A2-Level locker in drei Monaten lernen kann.

The reason for the irregular word order in all those sentences is a lack of integration of the second verb. Whereas 'einkaufen geht' and 'einkaufen gehen will' and even 'einkaufen gegangen sein wird' are in a certain sense one single verb phrase, you will always have two more or less independent verb phrases in sentences 1 to 8. In 'gehen will' the infinitive 'gehen' is subordinated, in 'mitkommen einen Kaffee trinken' you have two coordinated verbs or verb phrases: 'mitkommen' and 'einen Kaffee trinken'. Please note that 'einen Kaffee' in 'einen Kaffee trinken' ist integrated in(to?) the so called 'Prädikat'; I prefer to call it 'verb phrase'.

  • So in your last example, can I asy "Kommst du morgen mit uns im Hegau wandern mit?" Apr 22, 2018 at 14:09
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    @user268569: Your comment helped me to rethink the examples. Indeed, "Kommst du morgen mit uns mit im Hegau wandern?" should be interpreted as a kind of kommst du mit uns mit? and a shortened (wir wollen / wir gehen) im Hegau wandern . Im Hegau wandern is not a subordinated part of the verb phrase (mit uns) mitkommen, it is rather an 'appendix' or a sort of 'verbal apposition'. Apr 22, 2018 at 18:56
  • So, does that mean I could relegate the separable "mit" such as "Kommst du morgen mit uns im Hegau wandern mit?" and still have it grammatically correct? Now I realized that the separable prefix goes to the end of the clause rather than the sentence. Since there is no comma separating the clauses does that mean mit can rightfully stand in the last position? P.S. Please also see my new edit. Apr 23, 2018 at 17:31
  • I just came across sentences like 'gehst du morgen mit schwimmen?' or 'Ich will mit in die Stadt fahren Unterschriften sammeln.' What does 'mit-' here refer to? The prefix 'mit' seems to have special syntactic properties that I will have to think about once more. Nevertheless your sentence in question must be put this way: 'Warum kommst du nicht mit Kaffee trinken?' The other version ('mit' at the end) is wrong. The meaning of the sentence is almost equivalent to 'warum kommst du nicht mit und wir trinken einen Kaffee (zusammen)?' Apr 23, 2018 at 22:27
  • The question is why the version with mit in the end is wrong. Isn't separable prefix supposed to go the end of the clause? So why in my second example, "mit" being in the end is right, but in this sentence, it is wrong? My best explanation is that, maybe there is a missing comma? Warum kommst du nicht mit, Kaffee trinken? So "mit" rightfully occupies the last position in the said clause. Apr 24, 2018 at 2:49

In the sentence, "Why don't you come along to drink coffee?" Is it right to say "Warum kommst du nicht Kaffee trinken mit?"

It is (not?) correct, but can be said (slightly accustomed)





If you are familiar with the one you are asking (a friend | a colleague) and you are speaking privately, it is okay.

It's a matter of 'politeness' versus 'familiarity'

In the german language what is always considered (and it is a trap for many native speakers, too) is the level of formality. Depending on how you ask, state or respond you are valued/levelled. It is hard to say, if it is taught or if it comes as a consequence of the possibilities the grammar offers. - You might understand better, when you come to the point that you learn to differ a simple statement, by conscious use of tone, pitch and pause. The language allows to manipulate the occasion, the participants and the outcome in forefront, through guiding the respondant by deleting possibilities out of the equation. - Sorry, but seriously, the german language is sheer magic, in almost any aspect; but it is a steep learning curve.

What you can say is: "Warum kommst' d' nich'('n) Kaffe(e) trinken mit?"

It is not as complicated, as it might seem. Its worse. So go on. Read, young Jedi.

To explain, i try, will

The equivalent meaning to "Warum kommst' d' nich' Kaffee trinken mit?" would be:

<-> "Why don't 'cha come wit', drink' som' coffee?"

That may sound harsh to you if you are used to standard english. But at least, you may understand why it takes a level of intimacy or relaxed friendliness to take that offer. It is not unpolite per sé. But it leaves the asked person in a state of overthinking your offer by first waging:

'Are we that intimate?'

For native speakers of british or american english, it is also the confusion of verbal gestures, that contradict each other.

For a U.S.-American

Anything that "ain't" fit the rules of "spoken out"-politeness, often independent of tone in situations like paying your goods on checkout in the super-market, is considered unpolite and may end open-ended into anger. Depending on the rules of your 'monetary class' and 'citizenship', your 'status' all in all: You define your place by conforming to what has to be said, not what you are doing. You can be a total prick in a suit and .. become president .. for example, or looking like a gangbanger, because you grew up so, but being the one driving the kids, caring for the elders and as a hobby you invent robots that cartograph the martian surface.

A U.K.-Britain instead

.. shows his very own class in free-time by clothing and behaviour, full throttle; At work instead, only in situations where Mr.|Ms.|Mrs. Bossy and clients, potential customers and so on are glaring through being absent. A britain is more 'delic' as in 'delicate' than an american, but not necessarily more 'delic' as in 'delicious'.

And now realize, that Germany after WorldWar II was divided into sectors

The allied states defined the zones, where whatever had to be handled by whoever in whomevers interest as it would be beneficial to whose persons substantially existence. Just like that. Thats the kind of verbal fart that came out of it, because anyone who was never a nazi, had to fear to be hanged, or shot because someone who was a total nazi accused that person. The shadiest have written the laws in the following years to save their well-being by defining clauses, which could not be understood up until today. So don't wonder that the german language was essentially torn into it's atoms and crapped together in a syndication of forms and rules, grown out of the nowadays called german angst, the fear to loose the sole freedom to just be, by just being and behaving in a specific manner.

And then came the 50s, the 60s, the ... wait! The 68er?!?

"Kaffe kipp'n gegangen?" <=> "Gone sipp'n coffee?"

That generation had no reason left, to believe in politics and the ever-spreading obvious split between poor and rich, educated and isolated; It was time to open up and bravely live an own identity, found and fund on and off their own; Consumers-only? Not anymore. And spladang! There you got it. Now all what has been put aside, what could have let the "Volk" been considered suspicious again, was breaking out.

Poetry for example has been reinvented. Songs from and for the working class against the establishment, and against those, that have been the reasons, that it all came to that weird cataclysm, the national socialists, the allies, the cold war, the possibility and soon guarantee that global nuclear warfare, would right here blast everything into particles. Here, in this land with no identity left.

"Hätt'n se Lust 'ne Kenianische Kirsche zu schnabulieren?"

I am not able at all to translate that into english; It's like : ***"Would'ye lust to [...] a kenyan cherry?" - whereas [...] is basically a verb artificially merged together from 'fabulieren' (to let your mind creatively construct a wonderful fairy describing reality abstractively in a mindgazing manner) and 'Schnabel' (engl.: beak; lat.: rostrum) which references the 'Schnabeltasse', which effectively was a straight statement, saying 'if we (whoever we are, 'Kohle- Kumpel','Lehrer','Schüler','SchiessBudenBetreiber','Hure', whatever) go on in that manner, than we are old dead farts, so lets sip the 'spirits', like alcohol, lsd, bethel, beer, or straight pure water etc. right through that nursing-bottle. Why? Because we can, and the rest of the world thinks we are monsters, as we have been taught, that we are. And those, that don't, they are babies, or just dead old farts, again.

Kenianische Kirsche - Kenyan Cherry?

High-Land Coffee from Kenya combined with the nasty joke of sipping a black virgin, which stood for a real kenyan girl, as also for pressed hemp bathed in hemp-oil and distilled opium; Such a question you would have then heard by students, likewise, as profs, by journalists, as also car- or bicycle- -mechanics, by doctors or priests. Why? Because they could, back then and wanted to talk about anything, coded with a new merger of anything; They called it 'deutsch'.

"Kaffe. Kommste?" <-> "Coffy. Y'come?"

I mean it, german is spoken magic

Any word is a collection of thoughts and well communicated metaphors. - The language finally exploded in the seventies and tried to reflect everything that was happening all around the globe. And the speakers tried to actively preserve what was left of regional dialects, to gain some identity out of it.

In the 70s, Germans emigrated

In any country and region you can think of. Many came back. They brought ideas and brain-boggling visions of foreign folks back with them. Some just took a walk then and sat by a 'Kaffee-Stüberl', or a 'Wien'r-KoffeHus', or at 'JavaJoes', Joe whose real name was Karl-Heinz-Joachim and he wore a leather hat, like years later Crocodile Dundee would wear. Joe had a similar knife, too. And that smile; It infected friends of Joe and their kids, too.

Those wandered the years to come.

And any of them, brought back a new word, a new view, an old view, or an old word. Any of them, maybe they met before, with their cousins, their uncles, nephews and nieces and their families, which just came back from corners of the world, you might have never heard of. Maybe, they had even plants taken with them, from Ecuador, Tanzania, Indonesia, India, Australia; by ship, by plane, by bus, by bike, by car, by bycicle or by foot, feet by feet.

"Kimm mit. Omma macht leggah braune Subbe, vor'n Mittach!" <-> "Kum wit. Gremma mex teshty brawn subber, b'for'noon!"

You might hear this in an office, asked by the more brave ones.

Forced lazy and garbled talk, to show you they are interested in you; That's one (often uncomfortable) way to break the ice. Without estimating the worth, but evaluating why this happens: One might want to fumble you and watch how you react on that inner-circle-colleague-speak-introduction, as if you have been part of it for aeons there. In almost all cases you can rely on the fact, that the person is for sure interested to break the ice, but is uncomfortable speaking english and knows about the difficulty of speaking german, so wants to avoid leaving you with riddles. The latter would be much more uncomfortable than just 'swing in' with that non-chalant hey-buddy-question which essentially means:

"Hey, would you like to come over with, sip a pot of coffee and learn a bit about it each other?"

To sum these reasons up, why your sentences can be correct

In the described cultures you foremost stay true to the overall ideal your surrounding is showing you. Behave, accordingly. That can include to be 'un-nice' to be 'nice'.

"Wat los, Kolleeje? Keen Bock oof Kaffe?" <-> "Whad up, fella? Won't fell fa koffee?"

In Germany, you have on top of that, also insanely different regions reflecting totally different behaviour. The ruleset you are measured on is given not only by the way you wear your cloth, if you even do wear cloth; It won't be measured by how you move through the crowds surrounding you; On the contrary: To stick out, if you are a model and Germany is your catwalk, don't wonder why you just have to be yourself to be blamed for it. If you are a construction worker, folks are awaiting the next 'classy' joke and will speak directly to you, if they are not part of that job category, similar to the collar-worker-definition by color in Japan and the U.S.; but it's more shady and at the same time sharper faceted.

Now, we are living in the ultimate perverted version of "Back to the Future". You may call your car "K.I.T.T." and speak to it. You have the knowledge of the world at your hands, it seems.

But you need people to ask for answers on how to talk to people ...

See, how ironic this is? And that's why i'm not just answering your specific question, but take the freedom show you another facet. Just to make it possible to waken your interest.

In essence you can bluff any native german

.. by your behaviour and your clothing. By what you do and how you behave. We are consumers of global mass-media and in relation to population and income one of the reasons, why services like NetFlix, Amazon, eBay have had a hard time as had Hollywood in the beginning, but the farther they thrive, the steadier their existence.

Germans snoop and scope

We focus in hide, we learn by let-them-do-i-can-wait-and-watch-and-listen-carefully. We have fun, play trick or treat without asking so; we do it for the fun of wordplays, you may never get the gist of. And i don't talk about the complexity, the difficult grammar, which changes every 50 kilometers, the unidentifiable mumble, we can 'communicate' in. We need a babelfish in our ear to hear our self thinking and finally understand what we said before.

Never think, that a german truly knows how to speak german.

That long loong loooooong trip sideways should have helped you (the reader) in understanding, why a under any pretense wrong piece of a sentence, can for sure mean exactly what you thought you would express by saying so. As long as you'll be aware you have to visualize a big big question mark in your face, so others know that you don't know and then they can open up to you and you consider on learning that piece of information you needed together. I mean it. Never assume germans speak 'High-German'! Okay, maybe being high and speak german. That could count.

If you got that

Then add up the fact, that Germany is also a republic, a bond of states, counties, communes, all with minimum one different 'speak', not forgetting to mention the inter-regional diversities of dialects and isolated dialects actively spoken.

All that in a space that fits times into one of the smaller states of the U.S.

We are curious and ever growing in anything what we do. We try to achieve more, even if more is less. Why like to imitate, not for the sake of imitation, but to get the experience to be 'others'. Take the whole world in, suck it up.

Also: Kommst'mit'n Kaffe'kipp'n? Kenn dich'nich, ab'a wird scho'. Wat maahnste. Jeet det? Komm'wa kla'?? Oda, has'se Fresse dick? Moi, do is a schpraahchloos; d' wür'dt selbst' d' Jupp an'ne Latt'n farickt. Da socht'a nüscht mehr.

Et cetera ...

"Why don't you come along to drink coffee?" avoids asking for the purpose in response.

-> "Why don't you come along?" <=> "Warum kommst du nicht mit?"

possible responses ...

<-A:1: "For what reason?" <=> "Aus welchem Grund?"

would be 'correct', but has a bad taste (especially in german, because it might imply

"For what purpose?" <=> "Zu welchem Zweck" understating a must have, a very need to go with, as if the social life would be in danger, if not accompanying.

<- : "Warum kommst du nicht mit Kaffee trinken?"

Grammatically, I think it should be the first one, but for some reason I feel like something is wrong with it. Any feedback is appreciated

EDIT: I just saw another sentence: Alle bringen etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mit.

As you see, "mit" is clearly at the end. Any explanation regarding why "mit" cannot be in the end of the sentence in my first example?

That sentence is clearly missing (by choice of ruleset, which are all valid if you respect the language and not the Duden: from zero to six separating) commata; if you have a faible for marks and signs, which are not solely needed for readability, but for sense and pronounciation.

And to swing the sentence into the melody needed, to express what you really say, whenever you say that.

Alle bringen etwas, zu essen, oder zu trinken, mit.

-> Who? <- All <- Alle

-> What are they doing?

<- They (they=the many) bring something.

<- Sie (sie=die Vielen) bringen etwas.

-> What, do they bring?

<- Something.

<- Etwas.

-> How they bring something?

<- With.

<- Mit.

-> With? With "them_selves"?

<- Mit? Mit "ihnen selbst"?

-> With them_selves?

<- Mit sich selbst?

-> Does that mean they bring only their self and just say there is something, that they bring with them?

<- Soll das bedeuteten sie bringen nur ihr selbst und sagen nur da ist Etwas, das sie mit sich bringen?

-> No, they bring something with them.

<- Nein, sie bringen etwas mit ihnen (mit).

This second (mit) in thought might be your piège | StolperStein.

The Verb is 'bringen' - but there is also 'ein-|vor-|um-|auf|weg-|bei-|zu-|dar-|aus-|raus-|zurück-|mit- -bringen'. And i'm sure i've forgotten the other half available.

You could compare it to 'to bring (with you) something with in'; So you bring something in. But you bring it with in, as in 'Take it with you!' - 'Okay, i bring it with me!', you could also say Okay, i bring it with in!' - It is dependent of what should attain focused. - In your Question the definition is clear (at least it should be); it is not about the eating and drinking, it is about the people. So the 'mit' is part of the verb 'mitbringen'. That your folks bring something 'with' them is not in question, but it could interesting to know what they bring with; means It is not explicitly necessary to announce that they are in fact bringing some with (with them).

-> So, what is it?

<- So, was ist es?

-> That something? That is something to drink.

<- Das Etwas? Das ist etwas zu Trinken.

-> Anything else, besides their selfs?

<- Irgendwas anderes, nebst ihrer selbst?

-> Yes, something to eat.

<- Ja, etwas zu essen.

-> Means, they bring something to eat with them and something to drink.

<- Bedeutet, sie bringen etwas zu Essen mit ihnen und etwas zu Trinken.

-> To be precise, not exactly to eat AND drink ...

<- Um präzise zu sein, nicht exakt zu Essen UND zu Trinken ...

-> For eating OR for drinking.

<- Zum Essen ODER zum Trinken.

-> Ah! So to say: They bring something to eat or drink with!

<- Ah! So_zu_sagen: Sie bringen etwas zu Essen oder zu Trinken mit!

->[[They]bring]+[something][+[to eat]+[or]+[(to)drink]]]+[with (them)!]

<-[[Sie]bringen]+[etwas]+[[zu essen]+[oder]+[(zu)trinken]]+[mit(ihnen)!]

The final question is, aren't separable prefixes supposed to go to the end of the sentence? What is the reason for "mit" to NOT go the end of the clause and precede "Kaffee trinken"?

As i already tried to explain in the inbetween of the translated dialogue, regarding the theoretically doubled 'mit', which i think is the rock that blocks your sight: And regarding you possibly might remember if you have read the long long long excourse, before splattering the technicality: There is in fact no reason more weighing in to do it this way, or that way. In the german language there are rules, rules for rules and rules for no rules. You can bend as if it was bamboo and it whiplashes straight in your face if you assume, or even more worse do false pretend you already understood it. That's not just the case for you. It is because it is one of the oldest languages, that was exported, reimported, exported reimported and so on.

The german language is extremely flexible.

The reason why, is a necessity to be able to learn and follow and also bulge the rules, where applyable; it is based on that sole fact, that it is a recreation of its own from the oldest days. And whereever poets, lyricists found sinkholes in the ruleset, they invented new rules that would fit into the system, without breaking it.

German, nowadays, is able to represent a near perfect word-by-word translation and reprize seemingly forgotten, but none the less existing rule sets, which found there way in, from languages, that are comparably complex and alienating to the rest of languages spoken globally, like swedish | norsk , russian, estnian, usbeki, latin, romanian, xhosa and a nice roundup of creoles.

If you wish to know about the possibilities how ONE simple sentence can be 'performed', just ask a question, with that one explicit task, e.g.:

Task: Express the following sentence in a dialect | mundart that has yet not found its way into the answer. Additionally point out the name of the mundart and specify an area where it is and where it was spoken and where it is saved in written form, including extincted languages and dialects, as long as there is any source that verifies it.

Something like that.

Hope, it helps!

  • Thanks a lot for the detailed response, but it still ignored my main point as did every other response unfortunately. What is the difference on the grammatical level between "etwas zu essen oder zu trinken" and "Kaffee trinken" that "mit" precedes one and follows the other? Some people suggested that there is a missing comma so "Kaffee trinken" is a subordinate clause on its own, since separable prefixes go to the end of the clause and NOT the whole sentence, this would make sense, EXCEPT, if this is the case then why isn't "etwas zu essen oder zu trinken" a subordinate clause too? May 1, 2018 at 6:35
  • @Evil Racehorce: Because 'etwas zu essen und zu trinken' is a(n?) integrated accusative object and part of the only predicate whereas 'mitkommen' and 'Kaffee trinken' are two predicates. I wonder how often this has to be repeated until you will take note of it. May 1, 2018 at 9:53

The first one is not correct, the second one is fine.

This one is correct:

Warum kommst du nicht mit Kaffee trinken?

because it's

Warum kommst du nicht mit, irgendetwas tun?

and it's also

Kommst du mit, Kaffe trinken?

"mit" can not be at the end of those 3 sentences.

  • Thanks for the input, could you please explain why the first one is incorrect? "Warum kommst du nicht Kaffee trinken mit?" It is my understanding that the separable prefix should go to the end? So why does "Kaffee trinken" (a dependent infinitive?) follow "mit" here? Apr 22, 2018 at 14:06

There are more sentences like the one in question:

1 komm doch mit das Spiel ansehen, (zusammen macht das doch mehr Spaß)!

1' *komm doch das Spiel ansehen mit

2 wir fahren Samstag wieder raus Brombeeren pflücken

2' *wir fahren Samstag wieder Brombeeren pflücken raus

3 er ist mit dem Hund rausgegangen seinen Morgenspaziergang machen

3' *er ist mit dem Hund seinen Morgenspaziergang machen rausgegangen

4a (wo willst du hin? -) ich will mit in die Stadt Unterschriften sammeln

4b ich will mit in die Stadt fahren Unterschriften sammeln

4c ich will in die Stadt mitfahren Unterschriften sammeln

4d ich will mit in die Stadt und mit Unterschriften sammeln

4a' *ich will in die Stadt Unterschriften sammeln mit

4b' *ich will in die Stadt fahren Unterschriften sammeln mit

4c' ???Ich will in die Stadt Unterschriften sammeln mitfahren

5 ich muss weg meine Schwester vom Bahnhof abholen

5' *ich muss meine Schwester vom Bahnhof abholen weg

and one more real life example from the 'Spiegel':

6a Da fuhren Möllner HSV-Fans jeden zweiten Samstag nach Hamburg, "Türken klatschen". (http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13681785.html)

6b Da fuhren Möllner HSV-Fans jeden zweiten Samstag "Türken klatschen" nach Hamburg.

6c da zogen Möllner HSV-Fans jeden zweiten Samstag los "Türken klatschen"


6c' *da fuhren Möllner HSV-Fans jeden zweiten Samstag "Türken klatschen" los

Mölln = small town 50 km from Hamburg, HSV = Hamburger Sportverein, a football club, klatschen (young people slang) = to bash up

A good clarification of the grammatical problem should be able to explain the correctness or defectiveness of all those sentences. As you see in sentences 3/3' and 6a/6b the problem is not only a question of separable verb prefixes.

  • Thanks for your explanation, but it still doesn't quite address what I was concerned about. So, as we all know the separable prefixes go to the end of the clause. What is the reason for "mit" to NOT go the end of the clause and precede "Kaffee trinken"? Apr 24, 2018 at 20:17
  • As you can see in examples 2, 3, 4c/4c' and 6a/6b your question ist not only a question of separable verb prefixes but a question of integration or not-integration of any verb complements. Apr 26, 2018 at 17:33
  • I see, so what makes mit stay at the end in "Alle bringen etwas zu essen oder zu trinken mit" but not in ""Warum kommst du nicht Kaffee trinken mit?"I just need a grammatical explanation regarding what parts of speech a separable prefix precedes or succeeds. I mean whatever "Kaffee trinken" is here, "mit" cannot follow it. So what is the lesson here? _Separable prefixes cannot follow ________ Apr 28, 2018 at 9:47

In the first sentence mit is indeed at the end, but of another sentence. You have two sentences, and mit should be at the end of the sentence that contains the root verb kommen (thus, the first variant is false).

  • So, "Kaffee trinken" is the subordinate clause which means there should be a comma before it? Then why isn't "etwas zu essen oder trinken" a separate clause? Apr 28, 2018 at 9:52

Keine Antwort, aber ein paar weiterführende Überlegungen zur Fragestellung:

Bei einem Satz wie

er stellte das Auto und anschließend das Fahrrad in die Garage

ist 'das Auto und (anschließend) das Fahrrad' das Akkusativobjekt. Es ist ebenso möglich zu sagen

er stellte das Auto in die Garage und anschließend das Fahrrad

Da es bei der Kommasetzung im Deutschen in zwischen große Freiheiten gibt, ist es nicht nötig, aber möglich, vor dem mit 'und' angeschlossenen Objekt-Teil ein Komma zu setzen. Inwieweit 'und anschließend das Fahrrad' dann noch als Objektteil oder als Apposition mit satzartigem Charakter empfunden wird, mag jeder anders beurteilen. Man kann auch sagen

er stellte das Auto in die Garage, und anschließend stellte er noch das Fahrrad hinein

Dies wirkt schwerfälliger. In ähnlicher Weise kann man sagen

kommst du gleich mit schwimmen?

Man kann aber auch sagen

kommst du gleich mit? Wir wollen schwimmen gehen


wir gehen gleich schwimmen, kommst du mit?

Dieses 'schwimmen gehen' bzw. 'schwimmen' lässt sich nicht vollständig in ein 'mitkommen' integrieren, anders als ein 'einkaufen' in ein 'gehen' oder ein 'sitzen' in ein 'bleiben'. Man würde z.B. eher nicht sagen

gehst du und kaufst du ein? (für: gehst du einkaufen?)

obwohl das möglich ist, und schon gar nicht

bleibe doch und sitze! (für: bleib doch sitzen!)

Von derartigen Kombinationen sind ganze Serien möglich, die alle von Fall zu Fall anders zu analysieren sind. Es gibt integrierte und nicht integrierte Infinitive mit und ohne zu, und was das Verbpräfix 'mit' angeht, gibt es wohl auch ein nicht integriertes, frei stehendes adverbiales 'mit', das aber mühelos auch als Verbpräfix aufgefasst werden kann:

willst du mit in den Park gehen? (= willst du mit uns zusammen in den Park gehen?)

Es geht aber auch

willst du in den Park mitkommen?

willst du mit uns in den Park mitkommen?

willst du mit uns in den Park mitkommen Fußball spielen?

willst du mit uns in den Park mitkommen und Fußball spielen?

willst du in den Park mitkommen Fußball spielen?

willst du in den Park mitkommen und Fußball spielen?

willst du mitkommen in den Park und Fußball spielen?

willst du in den Park mitkommen und mit uns Fußball spielen?

willst du mitkommen in den Park und mit uns Fußball spielen?

Alle diese Sätze und weitere erscheinen mir möglich, andere würden einige dieser Sätze als falsch aussondern. So sehr es interessant ist, die Struktur 'Verb + nebengeordneter Infinitiv ohne (um) zu' erst einmal zu identifizieren und als ebenfalls mögliche neue Struktur in den Kanon der deutschen Satzkonstruktionen aufzunehmen, so wenig fruchtbar ist es, das allein in der Position eines Verbpräfixes 'mit' in einem einzigen Satzbeispiel verorten zu wollen. Was diese 'mit-' angeht, sind die erforderlichen Antworten bereits alle mehrmals gegeben worden und wir drehen uns hier für eine nicht absehbare Zukunft im Kreis, was wenig sinnvoll ist.

Vielleicht noch folgender Hinweis: Die Duden-Grammatik von 2006 behandelt diese Frage im Kapitel zum Prädikat auf den Seiten 858 unter den Begriffen 'kohärent' = 'nicht satzwertig' bzw. 'inkohärent' = 'satzwertig'. Die hier besprochene Struktur wird leider nicht aufgegriffen, lediglich wird auf S. 866 festgestellt, dass Sätze wie

"Die Mutter schickte [den Jungen] zur Nachbarin, [um Brötchen zu holen]"

umstritten sind. Nach meiner Auffassung sind aber Sätze wie

die Mutter schickte den Jungen zurück, die verlorenen Geldstücke wieder aufzusammeln

und auch

die Mutter schickte den Jungen zurück die verlorenen Geldstücke wieder aufsammeln

denkbar, letzterer umgangssprachlich.

Fazit: In dem Ausgangssatz des OP sind mehrere Fragestellungen gebündelt, die einer separaten Analyse kaum zugänglich sind:

  • Infinitivanschluss mit oder ohne 'zu'

  • Infinitivanschluss mit oder ohne 'um zu'

  • regelmäßige Überführbarkeit in einen nebengeordneten Satz mit 'und'
  • regelmäßige Überführbarkeit in einen nicht durch Konnektor verbundenen nebengeordneten Satz
  • Funktion des 'mit' als quasi-adverbial oder trennbares Verbpräfix

Für mich stellen diese Einzelaspekte im Satz ein schwer auflösbares Amalgam dar, zu dessen Verständnis es oft nicht nur an der Sicherheit fehlen kann, ob und wo ein derartiger Satz akzeptabel ist, sondern auch an der Bereitwilligkeit, sich auf vorgeschlagene Wege zur syntaktischen Interpretation einzulassen.

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