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teilnehman: How to use this verb?


How does one use the verb teilnehmen?

Sometimes I see it conjugated into two parts.

Does anyone have examples of how it looks with two parts?

What are these types of verbs called?

Einkaufen and uberweisen are also like this.

Thank you!!

March 21, 2018



Hi Eric, some verbs in German have prefixes which are put at the end of sentences.

Wir nehmen am Wettbewerb teil. (unlike in English where usually prepositions are used and mostly remain after the verb: We take part in the competition)

This goes for present and first past tense. (Wir nahmen am Wettbewerb teil)

Whereas, when used with modalverbs these prefixes remain with the verb.

Wir haben am Wettbewerb teilgenommen.

Wir werden am Wettbewerb teilnehmen.

But remember not all prefixes can be separated from the verbs.


"But remember not all prefixes can be separated from the verbs." Yes, and "ueber" is one of the prefixes that cannot be separated.


Actually, it isn't that simple (as always seems to be the case with German...).

„Über“ is typically an inseparable prefix, for verbs such as „übersetzen“; but can also be a separable prefix, for verbs such as „übersetzen“ ;-)

As an inseparable verb, „übersetzen“ translates to "to translate" :P
z.B. „Ich übersetze den Text ins Englische.“;
though as a separable verb, „übersetzen“ translates to "to ferry (across)" or "to cross over (a finger/foot across another/the other)"
z.B. „Ich setze zur Insel über“
„Ich setze die Finger über, damit ich dieses Lied in einem hohen Tempo spielen kann.“

  • 1354

Hi Adam, I don't know why anyone would down-vote your answer. I found the info good. (Die Hütte ist leer)


Hi Susan,
Well, either way I'm glad you found it somewhat helpful :) (und die Stimmen sind immerhin mittlerweile ausgeglichen :)


What do you mean, "modal verbs"? English is not my native language so I have been taught different terminology, but I thought modal verbs are auxiliary verbs like "can, might, could, would" etc. What you're referring to, infinitives and participles, are nonfinite verbs, according to Wikipedia. Is that right?

In any case, there's another case in which the prefix stays in front of the verb in German (and Dutch) even in the finite form, namely when reversed word order occurs. This happens, for example, in a dependent clause: wenn ich teilnehme...


These verbs have separable prefixes nehmen .... teil. as in wir nehmen teil = we take part.

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