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"Wir dürfen uns nicht in unser Schicksal ergeben" -> structure?

Hi! I'm learning German and I'm using songs with lyrics in German to motivate myself.

In one of those songs you can see this sentence:

"Wir dürfen uns nicht in unser Schicksal ergeben",

which, as far as I can tell, means something along the lines of

"We can't surrender to our destiny."

I can understand most of it, but I don't really get the part 'uns nicht in unser', can you help me figure out how is it used?

I get that, in this context:

Wir = We

dürfen + nicht = can't

ergeben = surrender

unser = our

Schicksal = destiny

in = ?

uns = ?

This is the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2LdF1RlSL0

And the lyrics are here (bottom of the page): http://attackontitan.wikia.com/wiki/Vogel_im_K%C3%A4fig#English

May 27, 2018



Wir dürfen uns nicht in unser Schicksal ergeben.

sich ergeben is to give oneself up, to surrender or to submit. So the "uns" in that line is the reflexive part of sich ergeben.

I believe that line of the song would be that "We should not surrender to our fate." In other words, to not just give in to fate, but instead to try to change our fate or at least to fight against our fate.


Thank you! Now I get it, I will look into reflexive verbs.


you might like to look up reflexive verbs.
a lot of German verbs need a sense of self.... I am happy=ich freue mich,
he is happy=er freut sich, we are happy=wir freuen uns etc.
Some have the self bit in the accusative, some in the dative.... so i wash my hair = ich wasche mir die Haare.

So as Klastiron indicated, you might like to think of Wir dürfen uns nicht in unser Schicksal ergeben as We can't surrender ourselves to our destiny

Sometimes the self bit feels (to me) unnecessary in English, but if you leave it out, some verbs change their meaning. For example, umziehen means to move house, but sich umziehen means to change clothes.


Websites such as leo.org can help us German learners know when to use akkusativ or dativ for certain combinations, such as reflexive-verb combinations and preposition-verb combinations.


Thank you for the website! I'll make sure to look into it next time.


Thank you very much! I'll make sure to look into reflexive verbs to master them.

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