"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!"
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!
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.