What does "ging mir" in this sentence indicate:

Seit meiner Reise ging mir Klarheit über alles.

I have come up with the following 2 possibilities:

  1. Clarity had been of utmost importance to me since my journey.
  2. I had clarity about everything since my journey.

This use of "gehen" seems quite different from eg. "Sie gehen mir auf die Nerven" or "es geht mir gut".

  • 1
    1. is right here – Olafant Mar 19 at 5:21
  • gehen über simply means exceed, see DWDS under section 6 abgeblasst (unfortunately not very exhaustive). Das geht über meinen Horizont is an established example. – guidot Mar 19 at 10:38

Number 1 is the correct one in this case. It relates to "um etwas gehen", meaning "to be about sth". So since the journey, clarity is the most important thing to this person.

  • 3
    I fail to see the relevant connection between um etwas gehen und über etwas gehen beyond using the same verb. – guidot Mar 19 at 10:27
  • I agree that um isn't that closely related, but it is a good hint that the mir isn't main issue and that you need to look for a matching prepositional phrase. DWDS lists about 20 prepositional phrases with gehen, but I find it difficult to find the exact meaning from the examples they give. – RDBury Mar 19 at 17:02

This was hinted at in a comment, but it needs further explanation. I think this is under def. 6a of DWDS in the section for the preposition über. They give the example sentence der Wein geht ihm über alles with the "translation" ist ihm mehr wert als alles andere, or "is worth more to him than anything else". It's not so much mir, as given in the question title, but the dative in general. The dative is often used, especially in idiomatic expressions, to indicate that it's a matter of someone's perception or opinion. So the general idiom would be something like X geht Y (dative) über Z and means "to Y, X is more (something, e.g important, valuable) than Z". I'm not sure whether Z has to be alles for the idiom to work; it's not clear from DWDS and I haven't checked other sources yet. So possibility 1 is a good translation. Without the Y, it's no longer a matter of opinion and it would mean (as stated in the comments) "X exceeds Z" or "X is more than Z". DWDS seems to be covering multiple idioms in the same section, for example über Bord gehen is different, so you really have to read each example carefully to find a match.


It can mean both.

In the first sense the importance of "Klarheit" prevails over everything else.

In the second sense "Klarheit" appears as visibility does with the rising of the sun, shining its light on everything. Compare to: "Seit meiner Reise ging mir ein Licht auf über alles." which is a different way of saying pretty much the same thing.

The first sounds correct, but makes less sense in the context.
"My travels have made me appreciate transparency more than anything."
The second sounds a bit strange, but is actually a fairly common way for Germans to talk.
"My journey has made me see things clearer."

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