Die Decke abzuwerfen war ganz einfach; er brauchte sich nur ein wenig aufzublasen und sie (?) fiel von selbst.

Die Verwandlung, Franz Kafka

Warum gibt es kein sich an der markierten Stelle? Ich meine, dass fallen ein reflexives Verb ist.

  • It helpful to use the same language for the title and the question itself. The question will usually be answered in the language it was asked, but it's confusing when there are two languages used.
    – RDBury
  • @RDBury Good comment! Feel free to just update the title next time ;) yesterday

1 Answer 1


Because fallen is not used reflexively in your sentence. I can't think of a usage where reflexive use would make any sense. Sie refers back to die Decke.

Die Decke fällt (von selbst).

Fallen is not done by the blanket to itself, it happens to the blanket.

Von selbst can be left out, it is just for emphasis. It doesn't really add anything other than style to the sentence.
By meaning, it's pointless. Everything falls by itself and everything is caused to fall by something. I wouldn't overthink that.

Besides that, sich at the position you've marked would not be correct anyways:

X Sie sich fiel (von selbst).

Fiel is the verb in second position, and sie already takes first position. So sich would have to be after the verb.

Let's try with a verb that can be used reflexively:

Sie wäscht sich.

  • Could you explain how the "von selbst" works a bit more? 2 days ago
  • 1
    @HopefulWhitepiller means the same thing as "by itself" in English
    – wonderbear
    2 days ago

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