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  5. "Wegen ihm beginnen wir."

"Wegen ihm beginnen wir."

Translation:Because of him, we are beginning.

February 26, 2014



How do I know when to use "Ihm" vs. "Ihn?"


looked at the link and I quote: "This use of the dative after wegen is not accepted by everybody. Therefore it is better to avoid it in written standard German." So should we rather use the genitiv then?


That is "more" correct. However, colloquially many people use dative. Although I learnt genitive, I'd slipped into using dative (unintentionally) within my first year of living in Germany.

It's a little similar to how people might say "to whom" or "to who". It's the same sort of "that sounds wrong" if you're used to hearing "to whom".


But genitive is used to indicate possession.

  • 1696

Among other things. Certain prepositions require genitive.


Because "of him": in many languages, the genitive is formed by saying "of something" instead of changing the form or adding a letter. Both French and Greek do this. Another way of thinking about it: "Because of HIS actions...."


Yes, but in this case instead of "wegen seiner" ("seiner" is the genitive of "er") there is a special form "seinetwegen". Similarly "meinetwegen", "deinetwegen", "ihretwegen" , "unsretwegen", "euretwegen".


So we can say - "Seinetwegen beginnen wir", right ?


Yes, that would be correct.


"Wegen ihm" is very colloquial, I would even say it is not correct. I prefer "seinetwegen" etc.

"Wegen" + dative does not sound good to me.


What's more, I find using, for example, wegen ihm instead of seinetwegen often has somewhat of an accusatory undertone:

  • wegen ihm hat der Spieler verloren (could sound like an accusation)
  • seinetwegen hat der Spieler verloren (definitely sounds neutral)


Thanks for the info.


Is the meaning more "because of him" or "for his sake"?


Thats depend on AKK or DAT


What is the difference between 'Wegen' and 'Weil'?


"Wegen" is a preposition and means "because of", e.g. "wegen des Wetters" = "because of the weather".

"Weil" is a conjunction and means "because". Unlike "wegen" it connects whole phrases. "Wir bleiben zu Hause, weil es regnet". - "We stay at home because it is raining."


WOW man! Deutsch is really difficult


In this case, not really:

  • wegen = because of [the rain]
  • weil = because [it's raining]


No. In German there are just 4 cases. In Finnish there are 15 cases, in Hungarian they even do not agree with the number of cases (5-40!), in Serbian they have 7 cases and 3 numera (singular, paukal and plural)! By the way english has cases too: I my me; ; you your you ; he his him ; she her her ; it its it ; we our us ; you your you ; they their them ; Just three, but as a not native speaker you have to learn them. Why for example do you say "me too" instead of "I too"? (context: the other person said "I do judo.")

  • 1696

A small correction: "my" is not a case, just like "mein" is not a case in German. It's a posessive pronoun. Argualbly "mine" can be cosidered a case: "He is a friend of mine", but definitly not "my".

Also, you example with "me too" does not really illustrate your point. This is spoken English, not formally correct English. Formally, it would have to be "I" (it's the subject, not an object here!) and a grammatically correct response to "I do judo." would be "So do I" or "I do too". ("I too" on the other hand is neither colloquial nor correct: it fixes the case but still fails to use a verb.)


"I, too" isn't colloquial, but it is acceptable, especially if you then repeat whatever the action was action (e.g. "I, too, like running"). Also, English is, oddly enough, colloquially adopting the objective case (English's combination of Akk/Dat) in places previously not used (e.g. "I am him", "me, too"). It may have started out as incorrect, per se, but now it's used so frequently by so many people that it's correct colloquial English.


The declension of agglutinative languages like Finnish and Hungarian is a completely different matter, it's hardly comparable. Regardless, the sheer number of cases is not a good indication of the relative difficulty of a language.


ah yup that's makes sense, danke schoen!


Thanks, that's really helpful

just wondering though, why did you used "des Wetters" ? Why "des" ?


Because wegen reacts the genitive and the genitive of das Wetter is des Wetters. In colloquial German you'll often hear the incorrect wegen dem Wetter with the dative instead.


Since I don't know cases well, I'll just use weather, although im curious if you could use the verb 'raining' as well..... But could you say "Wegen des Wettery, wir bleiben zu hause."?


"Aus, außer, bei, mit; nach, seit; von, zu" <- Where is "wegen" in that list? :)


Exactly. "Wegen" needs the genitive: "Wegen des Wetters...". And with a pronoun, it becomes meinetwegen, deinetwegen, seinetwegen etc. The sentence ought to be "Wir beginnen seinetwegen."


Can I use »wegen seiner« instead of »seinetwegen« ?


Generally, genitive personal pronouns are only used in the case of a genitive verb or adjective:

  • sich annehmen: "meine Mutter nahm sich seiner an"
  • gedenken: "gedenkt unserer mit Nachsicht" –Brecht
  • sich erbarmen: "erbarme dich meiner!"
  • harren: "wir harren deiner"
  • bewusst: "der Mensch ist seiner selbst bewusst"

Honestly, you don't need really to worry about this as a learner unless you'd consider yourself a Leseratte – genitive personal pronouns are relatively rare in contemporary German.


But no one uses genitive in casual language. I think it's only used in old German text books and stuff.


Seinetwegen and wegen ihm are both used in regular spoken German in the northern Sprachraum. In the south, however, wegen ihm is far more common. Wegen seiner is also possible but rare (mostly archaic).

Edit: Just found a map to this from the "everyday-speech atlas" - reflecting colloquial norms:

P.S. The genitive certainly isn't only used in old German textbooks, it is widespread in the written language and also non-colloquial spoken language, and failing to use it in these contexts is generally considered a sign of low education.

  • 1696

I answered "Because of it ..." and my answer has been rejected. Isn't "ihm" also a Dative of (masculine) "es"? And besides, the number of situations I can think of where I would use "because of it" in English far exceeds those where I would blame "him"


Yes, you are right. Duo should've accepted that


My "due to him" was rejected. The English accepted here seems not very idiomatic to this native English speaker.


In Australia it is more likely to be "Because of him..." although its a bit colloquial as we were taught at school not to start a sentence with "because".


Same here in the north east of the US. I guess if you really wanted to sound grammatically correct, you could switch around the word order. "We are beginning because of him." However, in everyday speech, starting a sentence with because is not going to be noticed.


It is 100% correct to begin an English sentence with "because" if the sentence has two clauses: Because I had forgotten my permission slip, I was not allowed to go on the field trip. Our teachers told us that "rule" to keep us from trying to pass off a single subordinate clause as a complete sentence: /Because I had forgotten my permission slip/ (not a complete sentence).


Due to him, and because of him are both right and usable, but you're far more likely to hear "He started it" or "It's his fault." Especially if you deal with children. :)


Agreed. As a native English speaker, I would never say it this way. "due to him" is far more common.


I am still struggling with genitive and dativ case. Can someone direct me to a table (or something similar) with good examples of all the cases?


I made a set of tables that helped me memorize this. There are some good patterns in it.



So is "Wegen ihm" considered the first object so that makes the verb third word, but second object


Position in the sentence has nothing to do with it. The direct object (which I guess is what you mean by “first object”) is the thing the verb happens to. The indirect or second object is the thing the verb happens for, often the recipient or beneficiary of the action: in “I give you the book”, “book” is the direct object (and therefore goes in the accusative in German) while “you” is the indirect object and goes in the dative.

None of that has anything to do with this sentence, where the dative is used because in some varieties of German “wegen” is one of the prepositions that requires its object to be in the dative case.


how do i know if this sentence is dative or not?


Sentences aren’t dative; only nouns and pronouns and their modifiers/determiners (adjectives and articles) can be dative. Whether they are or not is determined by their function in the sentence. Specifically, the indirect object of the verb and the object of certain prepositions is placed in the dative.


Can someone answer this, I'm wondering as well


Well, generally a whole sentence isn't a case. Sentences can be made up of words belonging to different cases. In this case, there is a dative (ihm) and nominative (wir).

I assume this is what you meant, but if you're confused about which case comes after wegen, as stated elsewhere in this discussion, it is genitive, colloquially often substituted by the dative.


whats with the word order?



Jedes Jahr einmal.


wegen ihm="on account of him" was marked as incorrect...why?


did you report it?


what exactly does it mean? does it mean "he made me a proposal"? ("we" started from him) Or "we have to work because he made us"?


"Because of him we started" is not correct?

  • 1696

No. Beginnen - present tense; started - past tense.


Could someone explain why not "Wegen ihm wir beginnen"? Thanks.


How do you know when to put the verb before the body? Meaning, why do you say "beginnen wir" and not "wir beginnen"? Danke!


Why is "because of it we begin" wrong? Ihm means both "him" and "it"


Kann'ihm' hier auch 'Gott' sein?


We learn that wegen is a preposition that governs the genitive, but 'Wegen seiner beginnen wir' is incorrect. I understand that using the dative with wegen may be OK, but don't understand why the genitive pronoun is not also OK. Also, seinetwegen may be a better choice? I suspect I'll be fussing with preposition mastery for the remainder of this course.


Why doesn't "beginnen" go at the end of the sentence after "wir"?


Didnt realize Yoda spoke German


Some of these sentences are hard to translate because they are awkward English statements, so it feels like I must be translating it incorrectly before I hit the "check" button.


Wegen ihm begonnen wir. Or does "begonnen" mean:started?


Begonnen is the equivalent of begun. You have to use it with a form of haben.

Wir beginnen. We begin.

Wir begannen. We began.

Wir haben begonnen. We began/have begun


"We start because he does" was incorrect, surely shouldn't be EDIT: Yep I see where I went wrong, oops!


Why would you not separate the two parts of the phrase with a comma here?


Which two parts? This sentence is made up of a subject, predicate and causal adverbial – it's one main clause.


Bloody lack of commas!


In what context would this make sense


Is this a correct way to use "wegen"? "Wegen fehlern scheibe ich immer mit einem Bleistift auf Deutsch."


We are all beginning to smoke weed because of Him?


Seinetwegen beginnen wir alle zu kiffen. Pretty sure the vocabulary is outdated, but the grammar should be okay.


If you look word by word on the sentence, that says: Because of him, are beginning we.

that's actually kinda funny


Why put "wir" final of sentence?


Why is this sentence grammatically correct? Isn't it "wegen seiner"?


My understanding (as a USA-dwelling monolingual student of German, so apply salt liberally) is that “wegen seiner” is technically correct, but rarely heard. You can compare it to English phrases such as “It is I” which lose out to the more common “it’s me” in everyday speech. With nouns, you still frequently hear the correct genitive form after wegen, but with pronouns it’s almost always the dative.


In my opinion, the only correct form is "seinetwegen". "Wegen ihm" is like "innit" - people do say that, but...


"For the sake of him, we are beginning" why is this not accepted?


why was "for the sake of him" rejected - it should have been "for his sake". no difference in English


Can I not say 'because of him we will begin'?


Oh dang! Someone messed up big time! lol


If it is "...we are beginning..." than why is it "...beginnen wir..."


so i cant say because of him are we beginning can somebody explain?


In English that phrasing would be for a question.


Why not wir beginnen...strange ordering


They're both correct in German.


In these speaking exercises, if you press the big blue button and then quickly press the small one in the upper corner, Duo will listen to itself and give you the full mark! Duo is not very smart! ;-)

[deactivated user]

    Why is it "beginnen wir" and not ''wir beginnen'' ?


    Ngl i gave up on this


    My solution was: "we start it because of him". Why is it wrong?


    wegen ihm wir beginnen?

    • 1696

    Nope. The verb has to go into the second logical position; you have put it into the third. "Wir beginnen wegen ihm" should work.


    why second, is wegen an adverb?


    No, wegen is a preposition. He is referring to the verb, which should go second.


    Danke für ihre Hilfe

    • 1696

    "Wegen"="because of". I believe it's a preposition. "Wegen ihm" forms one logical unit (since you cannot meaningfully take it apart). Since German requires that the (first) verb occupies the second logical position, your only choices are:
    - Wir beginnen wegen ihm (the standard word order)
    - Wegen ihm beginnen wir (the word order that emphasizes wegen ihm).


    Why is wir in the nominative? Is it not the subject of the verb 'beginnen'?


    Subject = Nominative

    Is that what you're confused about?


    Sorry, I meant is wir not the object of the verb 'beginnen'? I.e. why is the accusative form of we (uns) not used here?


    Accusative is used for the (pro)noun being acted upon, the direct object of a sentence. What's be acted upon in this sentence? Nothing. The nominative is used for the (pro)noun that carries out the verb, the subject of a sentence. What's carrying out the verb beginnen? Wir is.

    Similarly, one doesn't say in English "because of him us begin" but rather "because of him we begin".


    Beginning what? What a horrible sentence. It's not even a proper sentence.


    Why not? It is a perfectly fine sentence, it could be expanded but that's not necessary. As far as I can remember from the course, Duolingo never really gets advanced enough for full sentences like you'd read in a book or something, only the simple "die Maus mag Käse" and such.


    "Through him we begin." should be an acceptable translation, shouldn't it?


    No, wegen does not mean through


    This sentence lacks context for me to understand it. Because of him why, or what? what did he do? Arrive? Exist? Blow a horn? Leave? Is this a colloquialism that DOES have a useful purpose in German? If so, can someone explain it?

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