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Wenn ich nur jede Nacht eng an Euch geschmiegt einschlafen könnte.

I'm in two minds about whether this "an" comes from "eng an Euch" or "an Euch geschmiegt".

  • "eng an jmd." -- "eng an Euch / geschmiegt"

  • or: "sich an jmd. schmiegen" -- "an jmd. geschmiegt" -- "eng / an Euch geschmiegt"

3 Answers 3

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I would say it comes from schmiegen, because sich an jemanden schmiegen is a fixed expression (meaning to nestle up against someone), whereas eng can go with different prepositions, e.g., eng an Euch, eng bei Euch, eng mit Euch or eng hinter Euch.

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The participle to anschmiegen would be angeschmiegt so the infinitive here is just schmiegen or more precisely

an etwas/jemanden schmiegen

We can supply this with an adverb -eng- to describe how we want to snuggle up.

eng an etwas/jemanden schmiegen

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This really is a Grenzfall. Maybe because it is constructed with the past participle. Duden has the optional "eng" and a second "an" for non-human-snuggling:

das Kleid schmiegt sich dem Körper / [eng] an den Körper an

I would prefer:

Wenn ich nur jede Nacht eng an Euch angeschmiegt einschlafen könnte

This sounds a bit like child talk - but then that is a bit the idea.


Compare with "sneak up on someone", where you also have two prepositions. In German this could be:

Ich habe mich ganz leise an das Tier herangeschlichen.

Avoiding the doubling of an...an.


Duden main example is: sich an jemanden anschmiegen

(to snuggle up to somebody)

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