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"Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst finden."

Translation:I had to find myself again.

December 17, 2012



I didn't think that we were getting philosophical... otherwise this sentences doesn't make sense.


I think it could be used in the sense of "After that tragedy I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life anymore. I had to take time off. I had to find myself again."


Google does seem to find it in forums discussing such events. "I had to move out, there's a restraining order out..." Surprised at how much sense I can make of agony columns already....


Bizarre sentence. I can't think of a time when I would use it.


No, it's actually pretty common in english. And yes, like it was mentioned, it has philosophical undertones.


I agree. Google spits out 130k results for "zu sich selbst finden" (finding to oneself).


Very New Age, c 1960's, though!


Well... if you get lost behind the fridge or something you'd have to go and find yourself. "look there I am. Behind the fridge."

"Phew. Thought I'd lost me for a minute there."


Agree! Lol! Or perhaps psychotic!


Can anyone explain the use of "zu mir" here? Why is it not "mich" (etwas finden is accusative → mich finden)? Is "selbst" required here?

Maybe I don't understand this sentence properly. I see it as "I had to find (whom?) myself." Is it "I had to find (something) myself for me"?

I'm confused.


I have the same question here. "selbst" kind of make sense as in "It is I not someone else", in other words emphasis, but why "zu"? Is it a set expression "zu sich finden", to find oneself, or is something else going on here?


the preposition "zu" is always followed by the dative


I think olimo's question (and mine!) goes to why we use "zu mir" instead of "mich", not which case follows "zu".

If what is being found is "myself", then it is the direct object of the sentence, and would presumably be in the Akkusativ. Why, then, is it "zu mir" (not only dative, but with a seemingly superfluous preposition)?


I think because in the German construction, the way you can think of it is finding the way back to yourself, so it philosophically becomes akin to returning in the direction of yourself, which would warrant the use of "zu".


Ja, das ist eine sehr gute Erklärung. :-) Im Deutschen kann man auch sagen: "Ich musste wieder den Weg zu mir selbst finden." Wenn das jemand so sagt, dann klingt es für mich nach einer noch etwas schwierigeren, komplizierteren Lebensaufgabe als wenn er einfach nur sagen würde: "Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst finden."

Ich denke, "Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst finden." ist im Deutschen die am häufigsten verwendete Formulierung, wohingegen "Ich musste wieder mich selbst finden." und "Ich musste wieder den Weg zu mir selbst finden." sehr Ähnliches ausdrücken, aber nicht so häufig verwendet werden.


Are you a native German speaker?


No, but the top translation for "zu" at my go-to English-German online dictionary is "to", and "mir", meaning "to me", is the dative of "ich", so it only makes sense to me. One would think if that if the actual idea was finding oneself, it would use the pronoun "mich", which is "ich" in the accusative. http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/dings.cgi?service=deen&opterrors=0&optpro=0&query=zu&iservice=


ditto about the finden needing a accusativ object.. can someone please explain what zu, mir and selbst are doing in this sentence


I can only tell you that dative goes after "zu" , and that me makes sense for me because I am a Serb, and dative goes the same way in all Slavic languages as well :-)


What would be "to myself" and "by myself"?


"I had to find out by myself again " - is really not possible ??


Yes, really not possible. That has a completely different meaning. 'Find out by myself' means you are discovering a fact. This sentence is about finding yourself, discovering yourself, being at ease with yourself


Why "zu mir selbst"?


So happy the philosophical me finally got it right after some repeats, due to how much it resonates with my current mind state obviously [=^.^=]


Things just got deep.


"I had te refind myself" was wrong, said duolingo, but why?


Refind isn't an English weird


How about "Ich musste mir selbst wieder zu finden". Less common, or totally wrong syntax?


Sorry, in German this does not work. You can say "Ich musste mir selbst wieder / etwas Gutes tun / Zeit lassen / gut zureden / Hoffnung geben / verzeihen / zuhören / den Rücken stärken / Freiräume schaffen /..." But "zu finden" does not fit here. I don't know why it does not fit, sorry. I think it is totally wrong syntax.

But if you move the "mir" then your sentence would become much better: "Ich musste selbst wieder zu mir finden." The position of "selbst" is still not optimal but nevertheless this sentence could be easily understood. You can also just drop "selbst". Then this sentence becomes completely correct and sounds well: "Ich musste wieder zu mir finden." The other correct solution is: "Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst finden." That means nearly the same as the sentence without "selbst".

Of course my examples at the very beginning all have other meanings than the given original sentence "Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst finden." I only tried to find samples how you can complete "Ich musste mir selbst wieder ..." to form some correct German sentences.

I'm very glad that I have not to learn German grammar. I find it extremely complex and I can't explain the rules behind (if there are any at all...).


Can it be "ich musste wieder mich finden"? I can't figure out why we used "zu mir" and if it is indispensable?


Using this format, how would I say "I had to cook by myself again" because I don't want to say: "Ich musste wieder zu mir selbst kochen!" That means i need to cook MYSELF, then i would be gone!


Du kannst sagen: "Ich muss dies für mich allein(e) tun/kochen/ausprobieren." Diese Formulierung passt, wenn man durch die Mithilfe/Anwesenheit von anderen abgelenkt würde und sich nicht genug auf die Sache selbst konzentrieren kann.

"Zu sich selbst finden" ist ein feststehender Ausdruck. Mir fallen jetzt gerade keine anderen Verben ein, die nach dem gleichen Muster verwendet werden könnten. "Zu sich selbst finden" meint, sich von allen äußeren Einflüssen frei machen, zur Ruhe zu kommen und dann in sich selbst hineinhören, um herauszufinden, was man selbst tun will, was einen selbst bewegt und trägt.

"Zu mir selbst kochen" kann man im Deutschen nicht sagen. Denn du kannst nicht sagen: "Ich koche zu mir." Möglich sind im Deutschen: "Ich komme zu mir." "Ich finde zu mir." "Ich stehe zu mir." Daraus kann man ableiten: "Ich muss wieder zu mir selbst kommen." "Ich muss wieder zu mir selbst finden." "Ich muss wieder zu mir selbst stehen."

Ich hoffe, dass es ok ist, dass ich dir auf Deutsch geantwortet habe. :-)

"I need to cook MYSELF" heißt: "Ich muss mich selbst kochen" (also "mich" statt "zu mir"). Natürlich macht dieser grammatikalisch richtige Satz praktisch keinen Sinn. Zumindest kenne ich keinen Koch, der sich seinen Gästen serviert hätte.


what a stupid sentence. We're trying to learn a language here, not be impressed by how clever this program thinks it is. Instead of using a relatively simple object - Ich musste wieder meine schlüssel finden - we're given this ridiculous, esoteric sentence that no one here can understand or explain for the purposes of common usage.


"I'd to find myself again" is not a good answer for this one.


I'd is the contraction of "I would", not "I had".

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