Which one is correct and why ? Er stellt sich ihm und weicht nicht zurück / Er stellt sich ihn und weicht nicht zurück / zurückstellen etw.AKK / sich AKK stellen verb /


1 Answer 1


First, I think the sentence is meant to say something like "He's confronting him and is not retreating." It's not too clear from the question; words often have multiple meanings and without context or a specific description of what you're talking about, it's difficult to give a precise answer.

There are two different clauses, and the prefix of a separable verb does not move across a conjunction to another clause. So the prefix zurück goes with weichen and has nothing to do with stellen. In any case, while there is a verb zurückstellen, I don't see any way for it to fit with the rest of the sentence. From there the Wiktionary entry (meaning 2) seems clear:

(reflexive, with dative object) to expose oneself, to succumb, to come out to face, to confront

DWDS has three corresponding definitions 3a, b and c, but I think they cover the same ground only in more detail. Without context it's difficult to know which definition is meant. The DWDS label is "sich jmdm. stellen", which is basically the same as Wiktionary's label but without the jargon.

So you need a reflexive pronoun, in this case sich and a dative object, so ihm instead of ihn. I probably would have put a comma after ihm as well.

  • 1
    Why would you put a comma? I wouldn't. I would put a period at the end of the sentence, though.
    – user6495
    May 4, 2022 at 5:24
  • @Roland: I was thinking a comma to separate the clauses, since that's more common in German than in English. I couldn't think of reason not to have one.
    – RDBury
    May 4, 2022 at 9:09
  • In this case there should be no comma because of the "und".
    – user6495
    May 4, 2022 at 10:38
  • @Roland: I'm going by what I've picked up from various grammars, but it wouldn't surprise me if they don't reflect actual practice. Some examples from Bruce Duncan's grammar site: Sie wollte ihre Eltern besuchen, und ich bin mitgegangen. Du hast das bestellt, und jetzt musst du es essen. I'll research this further on my own; perhaps I'll ask a question about it here if I don't find anything.
    – RDBury
    May 4, 2022 at 14:39
  • 1
    @Roland: PS. Hubert Schölnast's answer here seems to sum it up. Actually I had read it earlier but forgot the details. Probably the grammars I've been reading are either from before the 1996 change or don't take it into account.
    – RDBury
    May 4, 2022 at 14:53

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