I am trying to write

I didn’t think to prevent him from killing Jim

in German

Ich habe nicht gedacht ihn zu hindern an Jim zu töten

I know this sounds odd, but is it true to use successive zu, and this sounds right to me but I don’t fully know that this is either true

Ich habe nicht gedacht ihn daran zu hindern, dass er Jim töten

  • I think "think --> denken" is a false friend here. What do you mean by your original sentence? You did not plan to prevent him from doing this? Then a German equivalent would be: Ich hatte nicht vor, ihn daran zu hindern, xyz zu tun. – Christian Geiselmann Dec 30 '19 at 9:05

It is correct to use successive "zu", though you usually try to avoid it for stylistic reasons.

It is not correct to put the preposition "an" after the verb "hindern". You need to put it in front.

It is also not correct to use "an" with "zu" + infinitive. You need the form "daran" for that.

So you end up with the correct phrasing:

... ihn daran zu hindern, Jim zu töten.


... ihn daran zu hindern, dass er Jim tötet.

(Strictly speaking, the latter should be "töte", but the subjunctive has largely gone out of fashion in actual usage.)

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