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  5. "Ich zeigte auf ihn."

"Ich zeigte auf ihn."

Translation:I pointed at him.

January 6, 2014



Would it be correct to say "Ich zeigte ihn auf"? If so, is one more correct than the other? I thought that separable prefixes went to the end when possible.


"auf ihn" is a preposition, "zeigte ihn auf" is a reflexive verb.

zeigen auf [etw/jdn] = point at [stg/sb]

ihm aufzeigen = to show (to) him

ihn aufzeigen = to show him (to sb)


I think that infers using aufzeigen, which is to reveal, to show.


any reason why my answer of "i showed him out" was rejected?


How can you tell when "ihn" means "Him" and when it means "it"? Earlier in another lesson, "ihn" meant "it," now it means, "Him." I don't know how to tell which one it means by the structure of this sentence.


It's a contextual thing, and the difference appears only when translating to English.

Some things, such as a chair, is masculine in German (der Stuhl), but would probably be called "it" in English. So "I pointed at it [the chair]" in English is "Ich zeigte auf ihn [den Stuhl]" in German.

If, however, we were talking of a man (Bob), we would say "I pointed at him" in English, while still using "ihn" in German.


So, "it" would be equally correct here.


Without context, yes.


So, German cultural question: in many cultures it's rude to point. Is this so in Germany?


I think the literal English translation would be 'I showed him up'. Showing someone up means to identify / point someone out, though not used very frequently in everyday speech. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/show-sb-up


That's not what it means in American English. Here, to show somebody up is to reveal his deficiencies. (E.g. team B was said to have a great defense, but Team A showed them up by scoring 200 points against them.) That's not at all the same thing as pointing somebody out.


I showed at him was wrong. So sad.


Because it's not a correct English sentence

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