"Die Mädchen hören zu."

Translation:The girls listen.

March 30, 2018

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"Why is there a 'zu' at the end of the sentence?" It sounds kinda odd to me to see a trennbare Verb in the dative prepositions lesson... I am not a native nor an expert, but as many people are asking about why there is a "zu" at the end of the sentence and nobody answered yet, I'll try to give a quick explanation about the trennbaren Verben (Seperabale verbs).

Similarly to English phrasal verbs, German has a category of verbs that are combined two words: the main verb, and the prefix. When that happens, the verb changes its meaning (and it is kinda difficult to guess the meaning of it just looking at the preposition and the verb). I am not sure but I think that there are separable verbs that are not used without its prefix, though.

Some examples of trennbaren Verben are: aufräumen (to clean up), aufstehen (to get up), aufwachen (to wake up), fernsehen (to watch TV)... When you find one of these, the prefix goes to the end of the sentence, and you conjugate the verb as you normally would (except if you're conjugating it in Perfekt :P).


Ich räume mein Zimmer fast jeden Tag auf. (I clean up my room almost every day)

Ich stehe 9 Uhr auf (I get up at 9 o'clock)

Ich rufe dich an (I am calling you on telephone)

Be aware that is not because a verb has a prefix, that it is a separable verb. There are verbs like verstehen and bestehen that have prefixes and are called Untrennbare Verben, which you conjugate as you normally would.

"Ich verstehe es jetzt!"


Thank you so much. This is very helpful


Does anyone know why "zu" is here?


I suppose it would mean just "The girls hear" if it wasn't for the zu.


Well, I can't give you a definitive answer, but don't we say "listen to", as eg. "the girls are listening to us".


The verb is zuhören. It is a separable verb.


I gather that zuhören is a separable verb, but can someone explain why the two parts separated in this case instead of "Die Mädchen zuhören"? If this doesn't work also, could someone provide a different example where the two parts should really be together, and explain how I might know when to do it one way vs the other? Thanks!


They (zu and hören) will meet again in Infinitive and Partizip-2.


I wrote "the girls hear" but it was marked wrong. Does anyone know why?! Thanks


hören - to hear; zuhören - to listen, to pay attention to what someone says


Danke, orange Katze! : )


So does that mean I can write "Die Mädchen zuhören"?


Die Mädchen hören zu. "Zu" is a separable prefix and always goes at end of the sentence.


I would render "Die Maedchen hoeren zu" as "the girls are listening"., a remark one parent might make to the other when discussing something they didn't want overheard.


I agree with that. It implies the girls are listening in on something or have been invited to listen.

[deactivated user]

    How do we know in this case that zu is part of hören and not it's own word?


    It has nothing to do there alone.


    Why is this in dative prepositions? We have not learned about separable verbs yet. This just throws us off.


    I used "The girls are listening". Why is that wrong?


    So did I, and I can't find a fault with it (but would welcome an explanation). I reported it.


    let me guess! I'm pretty sure "zuhören" means "to Listen" and "hören " means "to Hear" Correct me if I'm wrong:)


    why was "the girls are hearing" not accepted?


    Because the verb used is "zuhören=pay attention" which is different from "hören=listen".

    Bitte hör deiner Mutter zu = Please listen to your mother.

    Ich höre gerne Musik = I like to listen to music.


    What about 'the girls hear too'? What is it in German? Die Mädchen hören auch?

    [deactivated user]

      I think the correct Translation would be: "The girls are listening to...."


      No. The "zu" is a separable part of the word that affects the meaning of the word. For example, in English "get up" is different from "get" or "get on" or "get around." Think of it as, "Listen up." If you're telling someone, "Listen up!/Hör zu!" your telling them to lend their hearing toward the purpose of paying attention.


      Whym" the girls are hearing " is wrong


      Hören : to listen passively , Zuhören : to listen actively


      Warum steht es "Die Madchen" und nicht "Das Madchen"?


      Because it is plural

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