If my friend asks me to make a decision and I want to say "Let me think about it", should it be

Lass mich darüber zu denken.


I'm not sure if this is a complete sentence, and if we need a comma after "mich".

Also, would "let me take some time to think about it" be

Lass mich etwas Zeit, darüber zu denken



It's not quite correct and the two correct translations are:

Lass mich darüber nachdenken.


Gib/Lass mir etwas Zeit, um darüber nachzudenken.

Some points

  1. Nachdenken is here more suitable then denken. The latter is a general word for to think, the former means specifically think about something.
  2. After lass there is always an infinitive without zu.
  3. In the second sentence there is of course mir (Dativ) instead of mich (Akkusativ).


As pointed out by Em1 (thanks), in my second example there is a verb lassen followed by infinitive + zu which seems to contradict the point 2 above. The reason is that in this case I am using a um...zu + infinitive construction which must contain zu. I think in this respect the use of lassen is very similar to the english let:

Lass mich nachdenken - Let me think

Lass mir Zeit, um nach*zu*denken - Let me take some time, to think about it.

  • 1
    The um is optional in the second sentence.
    – chirlu
    Oct 7 '13 at 7:00
  • Regarding the edit: It’s two different uses of lassen. The first is the modal verb, taking an infitive without zu. The second is a normal verb that doesn’t accept an infitive at all. The phrase (um) darüber nachzudenken depends on Zeit.
    – chirlu
    Oct 7 '13 at 9:05

Or you can also say

Gib mir Zeit zum Nachdenken.

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