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German ‘sich fügen’ and ‘hinzufügen’ Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 in Language

I have recognized that some of you try to express the request that ‘other members of Facebook should add you’ while using German. This has always resulted in the phrase “Bitte fügen Sie mich”, which is ineffectual (!) because it literally means: ‘Please, conform me.’. So, I guess you have used Google Translator. Fortunately, I am here to teach you the correct German expression and to explain the difference between the German verbs “fügen” and “hinzufügen”. 😉

The German verb “fügen” is often used as a reflexive verb: “sich fügen”, which can mean ‘to conform’, ‘to defer (to)’, or ‘to yield’. Which meaning it has is dependent on the meaning you would like to convey. So, here are some example expressions:

 

sich jdm. fügen – to pay deference to sb.; to show deference to sb.

Ich werde mich Ihnen/dir fügen. – I will pay deference to you.

 

sich dem Schicksal fügen – to give oneself up to fate

Du solltest dich dem Schicksal fügen. – You should give yourself up to fate.

 

sich seinem Schicksal fügen – to yield up to one’s fate

Ich füge mich meinem Schicksal. – I yield up to my fate.

 

sich den Forderungen fügen – to acquiesce in the demands

Ich werde mich den Forderungen fügen. – I will acquiesce in the demands.

 

sich den Regeln fügen – to conform to rules

Er fügt sich immer den Regeln. – He always conforms to rules.

 

sich der Vernunft fügen – to conform oneself to reason

Sie kann sich einfach nicht der Vernunft fügen. – She simply cannot conform herself to reason.

 

sich seinem Vorgesetzten fügen – to defer to one’s superior

Alle Mitarbeiter müssen sich ihrem Vorgesetzten fügen. – All employees have to defer to their superior.

 

The German verb “hinzufügen” means “to add” in English. “Hinzufügen” is a separable verb. Thus, you have to split it when using it in a sentence. So, when you want to say ‘Please, add me’ you say:

“Bitte fügen Sie mich hinzu.” (sgl. and pl.; formal language)

“Bitte füge/füg’ mich hinzu.” (sgl.; informal language)

“Bitte fügt mich hinzu.” (pl.; informal language)

 

Other German separable verbs with ‘fügen’ are:

aneinanderfügen – to join/put together

Sie fügt die Bilder aneinander. – She is putting the pictures together.

 

zusammenfügen – to assemble, to merge, to add together

Du musst die Zutaten zusammenfügen. – You have to add together the ingredients.

 

ineinanderfügen – to fit into each other/one another

Die Bauteile müssen ineinandergefügt werden. – The components have to be fitted into one another.

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About the Author:Sandra Rösner

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra


Comments:

  1. Chris Klein:

    Danke sehr fuer die Erklaerung! I have studied German for 7+ years but I am still learning and posts like this help immensely because they are clear and provide examples!

    Frohe Weihnachtszeit!