https://www.duolingo.com/Henryw

Selbst vs sich

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can someone tell me the difference between the two, in the dictionary they have the same translation

September 19, 2012

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/IdontKnow

The meaning is very similar for both, but grammatically they are used in different situations.

"Sich" is a Reflexiv personal pronoun, it is used with some verbs when the Objekt (suffers the action) is also the Subjekt (performs the action). For example: "kleiden"="to dress" / "Die Mutter kleidet ihres Kind" = "The mother dresses her child" / "Sie kleidet sich" = "She dresses herself". Some verbs are always Reflexiv ("sich kümmern"), many others can be used as Reflexiv ("kleiden"). A similar situation is when "sich" behaves as Reziprokes Pronomen: "Deine Eltern lieben sich" = "Your parents love each other".

Another situation is when the English form "self" is used not to indicate that someone is doing something TO himself, but that he is doing it BY himself. Example: "Ich möchte meine Fahrrad selbst reparieren" = "I want to repare my bike by myself". You can see that in this case you use no Reflexiv form, you use "selbst" instead.

September 19, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Yahp
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But to make it even worse: "She dresses herself" - "Sie kleidet sich" could also be "Sie kleidet sich selbst" (Stop me if I am wrong, but that's what anybody would say)

September 21, 2012
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