I am working on translating a video game into German and I am unsure whether I need to use da-compounds in certain contexts. I have sentences like

Despite the wall's poor condition, you are still unable to pry out the bricks.

which I might translate as

Trotz des armen Zustands der Mauer, sind Sie noch nicht dazu fähig, die Ziegelsteine herauszustemmen.

In English I would say either

you are still unable to do that (i.e. Sie sind noch nicht dazu fähig)


you are still unable to pry out the bricks (i.e. Sie sind noch nicht fähig, die Ziegelsteine herauszustemmen)

but it would certainly be redundant to say

you are still unable to do that, to pry out the bricks

However in German I feel inclined to add "dazu" since the phrase "to be capable of something" is "zu etwas fähig sein." I am not sure if this is redundant because I am using "zu" twice.

I have seen this existing question regarding "sich an etwas erinnern": Are “da”-compounds necessary for clauses? but that question is only about using "an" once in "daran," whereas I am asking about using "zu" twice.

  • 2
    “arm” is the wrong word.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


Some of the verbs that have a prepositional phrase as their complement allow the da-compound (Pronominaladverb) to be left out.

Your phrase is "zu etwas fähig sein", so the object is a prepositional phrase with "zu".

Ich bin zu Großem fähig.

Therefore, you can leave out "dazu" if you want.

Trotz des schlechten Zustands der Mauer sind Sie noch nicht (dazu) fähig, die Ziegelsteine herauszustemmen.

Another example: "sich vor etwas hüten".

Er hütet sich (davor), eine Straftat zu begehen.

Duden Grammar 2009 Nr.861

Also, trotz is a preposition. Your first comma is wrong.

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