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Google Translate translates this as "The gatekeeper looks after them" but I don't understand how it got translated to that. What do the two "auf" mean in this sentence? Thanks.

2 Answers 2

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  1. "Der Pförtner passt auf" means "The gatekeeper pays attention"

    aufpassen = pay attention

  2. "Der Pförtner passt auf jemanden auf" means "The gatekeeper takes care of somebody / keeps an eye on somebody"

    auf jemanden aufpassen = keep an eye on somebody

In your sentence the word aufpassen is split into "passt auf jemanden auf" where the first auf points to the object on which the gatekeeper keeps an eye an the second auf belongs to aufpassen.

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  • I suggest to add, that aufpassen is a separable verb; this property causes, what you call split.
    – guidot
    Jul 12, 2021 at 9:46
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The verb in the sentence is aufpassen. This yields the second auf. The first is a preposition.

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    Pass auf dich auf, is a common way of saying goodbye in German, equivalent to "Take care of yourself." Note, in reference to this question from earlier today, auf aufpassen is another prepositional verb and the auf uses accusative even though there is no movement.
    – RDBury
    Jul 11, 2021 at 15:27

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