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I am trying to understand the following phrase:

Du gibst das Leben mit einem klaren Sinn, beendest das Verlorensein, schenkst einen Neubeginn.

But I couldn't see the meaning of "Verlorensein". I found that there is a verb "verlieren", which means to lose, and I suspect that sein is a sufix here that converts this verb into a noun, but I don't know.

Any help is appreciated.

3 Answers 3

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Lit. the state of being lost.

Sein is not a suffix but rather a verb in its own right - and like any verb can be used as a noun (Gerundium - like a gerund in English) when added an article before its infinitive form.

And in this case you just add an adverb (verloren - lost, the perfect form of verlieren, which can serve as an adverb) before to describe the function of the verb (sein - to be) so to say,

For example, the word "Bewusstsein" (conciousness) is literally "being concious", but as a gerund similar to "Wiedersehen", "Bereitstellen" etc.

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  • That was lighting, thank you. I also wonder: How to determine the article that must be added before the verb to construct the noun? Mar 6, 2023 at 8:34
  • @LazarusFrost Nouns ending with "sein" are always neuter. They are compound words with "das Sein".
    – user6495
    Mar 6, 2023 at 8:49
  • All "Gerundium"s are neuter, be it "das Sein" or "das Verlieren". Whether definite or indefinite, I'm not sure of an exact rule, it depends on context.
    – daniel
    Mar 6, 2023 at 11:08
  • That is a tricky one, as the english expression being lost means "sich verirrt haben", which is not the same as "verloren sein". Mar 6, 2023 at 13:56
  • "sich verirrt haben" is in a more locative sense, whilst "verloren sein" would be more more in a more abstract or emotional sense, I think "being lost" can mean both.
    – daniel
    Mar 6, 2023 at 14:47
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"Verlorensein" means the state of being lost. The equivalent sentence (to the noun) is "Du bist verloren." You can follow this recipe for a number of adjectives, which are often related to feelings:

  • Glücklichsein
  • Traurigsein
  • Einsamsein
  • ...
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  • That is a tricky one, as the english expression being lost means "sich verirrt haben", which is not the same as "verloren sein". Mar 6, 2023 at 13:55
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German does not allow spaces in compounds. If you make up compound nouns that have a verb component, that verb must be a built-in. Translate them as gerunds with an extra constituent:

  • das Kleinsein — being small
  • das Rechthaben — having a point
  • das Weiterbestehenkönnen — being able to continue to exist
  • das Verlorensein — being lost

Du […] beendest das Verlorensein. — You stop (me) being lost.

So the translation is often straightforward. But be careful about perfect expressions as those may require sein in German, but have to be replicated as perfect in English.

  • das Gegangensein — having gone
  • das Gewesensein — having been

And be extra careful with expressions that look like perfect but aren't.

  • das Gefangensein — being trapped

The perfect is

  • das Gefangenhaben — having caught

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