Die Geschichte der Arzneien ist mit den Ursprüngen der Menscheitsgeschichte eng verknüpft und sie beruht auf Beobachtung, Zufall und Erfahrung.

Why is it "den Ursprüngen" rather than "der Ursprung"? I'm confused because doesn't human history only have one origin?

  • The way you ask the question it's not about the German language, but rather about history, anthropology etc. Feb 13 at 22:19
  • 2
    It wouldn't be unusual to say "The origins of history" in English. Things can have more than one origin, especially something complex and multifaceted like history.
    – RDBury
    Feb 14 at 4:43

2 Answers 2


Using the plural die Ursprünge der Menschheit conveys the notion that humanity does indeed have multiple origins, ie. there is no single point in history or ancestry of which we can say that everything after it was human and everything before it wasn't, but rather a confluence of developments that emerged into what we now call humanity.

Conversely, using the singular der Ursprung der Menschheit conveys the idea that there was some sort of single event separating the human from the animal.


It's mit den Ursprüngen and the relevant verb phrase is etwas mit etwas verknüpfen — to connect something to something. You can't omit the preposition from that verb phrase.

Man muss die Ursache mit der Wirkung verknüpfen.

There is a related verb phrase Dinge verknüpfen which takes a list or a plural, only seldomly a singular collective as its accusative object but that one isn't used in your example.

Man muss die Ursache und die Wirkung verknüpfen.

Man muss die Indizien verknüpfen.

Man muss das Bekannte verknüpfen.

The difference between the two phrases is that the one featuring mit treats its prepositional object as mere context. The two objects aren't of the same quality.

It gets interesting if the accusative object is a list but there is a prepositional object:

Man muss die Ursache und die Wirkung mit dem Versuchsaufbau verknüpfen.

Here, der Versuchsaufbau is the context, and Ursache and Wirkung are both connected to it but not to each other.

  • 1
    So how does this explain the sentence in The question Feb 13 at 22:38
  • So the question isn't about mit? Sorry. — It's either mit dem Ursprung or mit den Ursprüngen. Dative singular or dative plural, as mit requires a dative. Whether singular or plural is used in this context is a purely stylistic choice.
    – Janka
    Feb 13 at 22:50

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