What is this "ging + infinite" construction? I feel like I should be familiar with it, but I can't recall it from anywhere.
"Verloren" is not an infinitive. It's the past participle (German: Partizip II) of the infinitive "verlieren" (to lose). Cf. Ich habe das Buch verloren - I have lost the book.
The only difference between the German and the English constructions is that German uses "ging" and English uses "got". "Ging" or "ist gegangen" are sometimes used in the sense of "got" or "became", e.g. "Das Radio ging kaputt". The "lost - verloren" part is identical in English and in German..
Ich ging verloren (literally: I went lost, i.e. I got lost)
Thanks! Very nice explanation. So we can have "Ich habe verloren" or "Ich bin gekommen," depending on whether the verb involves movement or not. And now I see that "Ich ging" + a past participle is also possible. Are there other possibilities besides haben/sein/gehen? And would all past participles make sense with the "Ich ging" construction? Google Translate gives "Ich ging gekommen" as "I went down."
Thanks again for your help!
I'm thinking that "Ich ging" + a past participle isn't the pattern. I believe verloren in this sentence is functioning as an adjective/adverb...
Wow, this is an important lesson! I suspect many of us came to this without knowing this use of gehen or ging.
I guessed the sentence meant "I entered the amount lost." Way off! According to Google, that would be Ich habe den verlorenen Betrag eingegeben.
I would have translated "I got lost in the crowd" as Ich habe mich in der Menge verloren. I believe that's a correct translation of the English, but I really like Ich ging in der Menge verloren. This opens up a whole new set of things one can say in German. For example, Ich ging in der Eile verwirrt. (I got confused in the rush.), although that's not that different from Ich wurde in der Eile verwirrt.
You can't say "ich ging verwirrt". The construction does only work with "getting lost". "to get lost" is "verloren gehen" in German.
Donnerwetter! Was für ein Verlust. Ich wurde aufgeregt. (not ging aufgeregt)
Btw, according to Hammer's German Grammar and Usage verloren and gehen are always separate. I suppose that means that one would have to write Ich will in der Menge verloren gehen. (not verlorengehen)
you're right. Edited. Btw. you have a similar construction in English: "He went mad". Here the situation is the other way round. You can't use "gehen" in German, but have to stick to "werden".
DL didn't accept "I went lost in the crowd", I gotta change to "I got lost..."
I had an English teacher who failed our papers if we ever used the words: Lot, Got, Get, or Thing. She argued there was always a more descriptive word available.I therefore always try to substitute 'got' with another word.
So that leads me to my general question: Could "Ich ging in der Menge verloren" translate as "I became lost in the crowd"?
I have read in several places that VERLOREN means lost in the sense of losing something ("I lost my dog") and that to indicate being personally lost, one says ICH HABE MICH VERLAUFEN. Is this true? If so, why VERLOREN here?
Perhaps because its used with the word "ging"?
My guess is that "Ich habe mich in der Menge verlaufen." would mean that I went astray, or to the wrong place, and got lost that way, the crown just happening to be there to navigate through or mark location, and that "Ich ging in der Menge verloren" would mean that the crowd blocked out my sight until the people I was with wouldn't have been able to find me anymore or I them (like I was a dog they lost.) That's just a guess though. I am not a native speaker, by any means.
Why is it 'der Menge?' Why is it dative? It at least seems like it's saying that I am going into the status of being lost, but that should make it accusative. If the sentence started out with 'Ich bin' or 'Ich war' that's when it would be dative. I would think so anyway.
"In" is a two-way preposition, which means that the noun after it will either be dative or accusative. It's based on motion, so if the sentence is about moving, it's accusative (think of "ins Kino gehen"), and if it's stationary, it's dative ("in der Schule sein"). This link explains it more if you're interested: http://goo.gl/tMTmuj
Thanks, but that was the source of my question. 'I got lost in the crowd' implies that I'm talking about the point when I was going into a state of being lost which would be accusative. For dative, it would have to be 'I was lost in the crowd.' Unless there is something unusual about the verb 'gehen.' Am I missing something?
Oh, sorry, I must have misread your original question! I see what you mean about it sounding like the sentence is about when you were getting lost, but I originally read the sentence "I got lost in the crowd" first as meaning that you were already in the crowd when you got lost. Like, the crowd is already surrounding you and you also got separated from someone or whatever while surrounded by the crowd. Maybe either is correct depending on what message you want to convey (I'm still learning too), but I think the accusative would make sense if the point of the sentence was that you were moving in relation to the crowd (maybe if it was clear that you weren't lost until you walked into the crowd and then you were lost). The way I think of it, the rule about motion and two-way prepositions applies when the motion is specifically about the preposition and whatever comes after it (like "ins Kino gehen" is all about you moving into the movie theater).
Actually, now that I look at it again, I think you're right and it is dative. Now it looks like it's saying that I was in the crowd when I got lost, so my relationship to the crowd hasn't changed since I was in it both before and after getting lost, and because of that the article for 'crowd' is what changed.
Nein, das wäre eine typisch deutsche Wortreihenfolge, die auf Englisch nicht funktioniert. Man sollte sich so schnell wie möglich davon lösen, zu versuchen, Wort für Wort zu übersetzen.
Die typisch deutsche "Satzklammer" ("verlorengehen" wird aufgespalten in "gehe ... ... ... verloren") gibt es im Englischen nicht. Hier muss das Prädikat zusammenbleiben.
does that mean that "Ich ging in der Moment verloren."
translates as "I got lost in the moment" ? :-)
It would need to be "in dem Moment" (dative), and in English it were "at that moment".
You can say that, but it's not a translation of the given sentence. This sentence here speaks about a dynamic action (getting lost). "Ich war in der enge verloren" describes a static situation ("I was lost in the crowd").