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From dw:

Die Zugfahrt wurde Julia zum VERHÄNGNIS.

Can anyone explain the sentence structure here? I guess ‘Julia’ is the subject here, and ‘Julia wurde zum Verhängnis’ would be a complete sentence. I would interpret this sentence as: Due to ‘die Zugfahrt’, Julia becomes ‘zum Verhängnis’. But shouldn’t there be a preposition like ‘due to’ in front of ‘die Zugfahrt’?

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  • The structure is exactly the same as e.g. "The train ride gave Julia a cold". English and German have important differencse in syntactic structure, but simple sentences with direct and indirect objects are fairly analogous. Sep 12 at 10:23
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I guess ‘Julia’ is the subject here, and ‘Julia wurde zum Verhängnis’ would be a complete sentence.

Unfortunately that is not the case; die Zugfahrt (the train ride) is the subject, “Julia” is merely an object in the dative case. Translated word by word, the sentence would read (in English): The train ride became (to) Julia (her) undoing.

Note that zum Verhängnis werden is a collocation and fixed expression. Makes sense?

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