I was hearing one of my favourite songs "Ode an die Freude" and I noticed something quite curious about the lyrics. Consider the following line:

Deine Zauber binden wieder

Was die Mode streng geteilt

Shouldn't there be a sein/haben somewhere in the second line...? Or is the geteilt not used in the sense of pst perfect?

  • 4
    It’s an “afinite Konstruktion” as I learned here: german.stackexchange.com/questions/1590/…
    – Carsten S
    Nov 14, 2022 at 22:55
  • All questions that I’ve found are in German, so not a duplicate.
    – Carsten S
    Nov 14, 2022 at 23:42
  • You are right. I didn't consider the language of answers Nov 15, 2022 at 3:11
  • 2
    Your heading seems wrong. There's no abuse.
    – tofro
    Nov 15, 2022 at 7:45
  • "Ode to Joy" in the English title. The poem is by Schiller, then Beethoven set the poem to music in his 9th Symphony. Beethoven's version differs from the original btw, in particular it includes a preamble: O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!/Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,/und freudenvollere. I try not pay too much attention to differences between modern German prose and poetry or anything written before 1900; poets take liberties with the language and the language has changed over time.
    – RDBury
    Nov 15, 2022 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


Leaving out a finite haben or sein is a stylistic device often used in poetry and songs. You can also find it in prose before the 20th century, and even in academic texts.

You can use it nowadays if you want to mark a character as literate and a bit old fashioned. In songs, it's used for prosody and it's still very common though.

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