Reziproke Verben: Types, use and examples of their use. Particles: "Einander", "selbst" and "gegenseitig".
Reciprocal verbs form sentences in which an individual A completes an action on B while B is completing that same action on A. Given that 2 individuals or more are normally involved with reciprocal verbs, they are normally used in the plural.
There are 3 types of reciprocal verbs:
Verbs can act only as reciprocal verbs due to their meaning (They can't be reflexive. For example, you can't break up with yourself); the sentence is formed with sich.
This is due to the fact that the pronoun "sich" is enough to show that it is reciprocal and there is no possible confusion.
|sich anfreunden||to make friends|
|sich einigen||to agree|
|sich überwerfen||to break up|
|sich verbrüdern||to fraternize|
|sich verfeinden||to make enemies|
|sich verkrachen||to fight|
|sich vertragen||to get along|
Verbs that are accompanied by a preposition act as reciprocal verbs and use the pronoun "einnander" when doing so (not sich). When we refer to verbs with prepositions, we refer to verbs like warten auf (wait for) and not separable verbs like ankommen.
The construction is preposition + "einander"
Beide Teams protestieren gegeneinander
Both teams protest against one another
The possible forms of "einander" are:
Many reciprocal verbs can be constructed with either "einander" or with "sich"
Sie küssen sich
They kiss each other
Sie küssen einander
They kiss one another
Sie hassen sich
They hate each other
Sie hassen einander
They hate each other
Sich has 2 meanings. It can mark a reflexive or reciprocal verb and when we use it we have to make sure what we want to say is clear.
A typical example:
Gladiatoren töten sich
Gladiators kill each other or
Gladiators kill themselves
It's still not clear what is being said.
To make it clear that we are using the reflexive "sich", we will add "selbst":
Gladiatoren töten sich selbst
The gladiators kill themselves
To emphasize that we are using the reciprocal, we will add "gegenseitig" (literally: mutually):
Gladiatoren töten sich gegenseitig
The gladiators kill one another
"Einander" + "gegenseitig" cannot be used together. It is redundant given that both mark reciprocal behavior.
Sie denken aneinander gegenseitig
They think together each other
home > : Pronouns | Prepositions | Nouns | Plurals | Diminutives | Conjugation | Passive | Irregular verbs | Modal Verbs | Separable verbs | Reflexive verbs | Impersonal verbs | Conjunctions | Articles | Adverbs | Konjunktionaladverbien | Adjective | Comparative and superlative | Word order in German | Negation and Affirmation | Interrogation | Indirect question | Subordinates | relative clauses | Conditional clauses | Comma
Suggestions to Help You | Difficulties with learning German | Greetings