This is a fragment of dialog taken from the subtitles to an episode of "Die Chefin", in which a policeman is trying to persuade a person of interest in a murder to provide information he does not want to provide:

Sie reden jetzt mit mir. Sonst nehm ich Sie mit aufs Präsidium. Dann rücken wir zwei richtig zusammen, verstanden?

What is the English translation of this sentence?

Dann rücken wir zwei richtig zusammen, verstanden?

This dialog occurs in the episode of "Die Chefin" titled "Gier" (50_10.02), 44 minutes into it. The verb actually used in the subtitle is "zusammenrucken", not "zusammenrücken".

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    It is not right to close this question since the user does not understand the two words origin from 'zusammenrücken' and so he could not find it in a dictionary.
    – äüö
    Jan 12, 2021 at 7:44
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    From context, the expression is used as a threat, and I've never seen it used as such.
    – RalfFriedl
    Jan 12, 2021 at 11:28
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    The edits purporting to correct typos where misleading in that they hid the fact that the speaker was using dialect: sndup.net/83k5
    – David Vogt
    Jan 12, 2021 at 17:25
  • I just watched the clip and the original (unedited) version of this question was correct. The line was Bavarian or Austrian dialect and the policeman said: "sonst rucken (!) mir (!) zwei richtig zusammen" (where "mir" is also dialect for "wir"). That being said, Johannes' answer below is the correct answer to the original question, while Hubert's answer is correct for the edited version.
    – Sentry
    Jan 12, 2021 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


Im a German native speaker. Most people here dont seem to get it. "Zusammenrücken" in this context means something like having a conflict or possibly physical confrontation, not settling a conflict. Most dictionaries dont seem to know this meaning. That is because apparently this is supposed to be dialect. I can confirm that where i live this is common language. https://www.bayrisches-woerterbuch.de/zusammenruecken/#:~:text=sich%20ernsthaft%20und%20aggressiv%2C%20u.U.,sonst%20ruck%20ma%20zamm!)

  • Unfortunately, the verb actually used in the subtitles was not zusammenrücken, but zusammenrucken instead.
    – user44591
    Jan 12, 2021 at 19:33
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    Yes thats because he was speaking in the bavarian dialect. You can see this version in the exanple on the bavarian dictionary i linked. You should know that Bavarian is something that is usually only spoken, so if you try to write it down/have subtitles the spelling may vary a lot. I hope that helps
    – Johannes
    Jan 12, 2021 at 20:20

The separable verb »zusammenrücken« means

to move closer

The verb »rücken« very often is used when furnitures are moved. It has no direct counterpart in English, so in English you have to use the verb "to move" (German: bewegen) instead. »Bewegen« is a more general term for movement, »rücken« is a special kind of movement. (You can't rücken things with wheels, but you can bewegen them.)

Die Kellnerin rückte die Stühle zurecht.
The waitress moved the chairs into place.
Die Möbelpacker rückten den alten Schrank von der Wand weg.
The movers moved the old cabinet away from the wall.

So, »zusammenrücken« is used when furniture is moved together:

Wenn wir beieinander sitzen wollen, müssen wir zwei oder drei Tische zusammenrücken.
If we want to sit together, we have to move two or three tables together.

But more often this verb is used when people move together:

Die, die zuerst da waren, rückten enger zusammen damit auch die Neuankömmlinge bei ihnen sein konnten.
Those who were there first moved closer together so that the newcomers could also be with them.

And from this physical movement of people derived is the figurative meaning of holding together:

Die Krise ließ die Nachbarstaaten zusammenrücken.
The crisis caused the neighboring states to move closer together.

In your quote this term is used in a mixture of the physical meaning (move closer together, so that the physical distance becomes smaller) and an ironic inversion of the figurative meaning. (They come closer together not to be friends, but to settle their conflict.)

The verb »richtig« (correctly, properly) has here more the meaning of a modal particle. Modal particles are hard to translate. Here is means, that »settling the conflict« might become a little bit harsher.

  • rücken is cognate with English "rock", which also matches the idea that it can't be used for furniture with wheels
    – Tristan
    Jan 12, 2021 at 11:15
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    Rücken implies a sliding motion. Eg: Die Kellnerin rückte die Stühle zurecht implies that the chairs a sled on the floor an not picked up.
    – raznagul
    Jan 12, 2021 at 13:32
  • The only problem with this is that the verb actually used in the subtitle is zusammenrucken, not zusammenrücken. Apparently someone edited my original posting to change the verb to the other, wrong, verb, unbeknownst to me. Do we have to assume that the subtitle contains a typo, then?
    – user44591
    Jan 12, 2021 at 13:57
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    I actually just watched the clip and this was indeed what the policeman said. It was dialect. So the subtitle was correct, but in standard German it would indeed read as "rücken wir zusammen"
    – Sentry
    Jan 12, 2021 at 20:50
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    I would also like to add that "rücken", when used to describe a motion, describes a sudden fast and short motion. Like pushing a heavy piece of furniture across the floor or moving your chair a bit to the side while you're sitting on it. It would not be used for a gliding motion.
    – Sentry
    Jan 12, 2021 at 21:02

To my surprise my standard dictionary searches failed for what I consider a colloquial standard meaning.

Zusammenrücken is here used in sense of DWDS: aneinandergeraten, in English e.g. to quarrel. It is more appropriate here, since it represents an active movement (in the non-figurative use), which can be subjected to more intense intention, while aneinandergeraten is also applicable to pure accident.

  • This should be the accepted answer. That is what the policeman actually meant in above situation.
    – QBrute
    Jan 12, 2021 at 13:36

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