I was reading the sentence:

Maria versucht, Thomas dazu zu überreden, abzunehmen.

which was translated as

Maria tries to convince Thomas to lose weight.

and I recently learnt about the dazu word - the fact that it can refer to a previous something without repeating it, irrespective of case.

But in this sentence, I was confused of the usage of "dazu"

Does the dazu refer to "versucht" or is the construct of the verb "versuchen zu" or otherwise?

1 Answer 1


In this case here dazu refers to the verb (infinitive with zu): abzunehmen.

You could also let drop dazu: Guess you can see that without dazu both terms in German and English are literally identical.

dazu would answer the question wozu emphasing the purpose: to lose weight.

  • My impression is that dazu belongs to überreden and not abnehmen. It's jdn. zu etwas überreden. dazu fills the place of zu etwas. Omitting the versuchen one would ask: "Wozu überredet Thomas Maria?" Mar 4, 2019 at 8:45
  • 1
    I was really unsure in the moment as I sent my answer if it couldn’t be like you say. But then try to transform it: Maria versucht Thomas zum Abnehmen zu überreden. Then it seems to be clear. Mar 4, 2019 at 9:15
  • dazu substitutes zum Abnehmen. Without the additional abstraction layer created by versuchen: Maria überredet Thomas zum Abnehmen or Maria überredet Thomas dazu. It's still zu etwas überreden. Mar 4, 2019 at 9:24

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.