erinnern

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German er- +‎ innern from Old High German innarōn (make someone perceive inwardly), from innar (inner), see the preposition in (in).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ʔɛɐ̯ˈʔɪnɐn], [ʔɛɐ̯ˈʁɪnɐn]
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

erinnern (third-person singular simple present erinnert, past tense erinnerte, past participle erinnert, auxiliary haben)

  1. (ditransitive) to remind [+accusative = whom] [+genitive = which matter] or [+ an (object) = which matter]
  2. (reflexive, transitive, intransitive) to remember [+genitive = which matter] or [+ an (object) = which matter]
  3. (transitive, colloquial, rare) to remember [+accusative]

Usage notes[edit]

  • That which is remembered was predominantly indicated by a genitive object in older usage (until ca. 1940-1950 in writing), nowadays this is restricted to elevated style. It had also been possible to express that which is reminded with a genitive object, but this usage has been archaic for one or two centuriesː
Er erinnerte mich dieses Tages.
He reminded me of that day.
Ich erinnere mich dieses Tages.
I remember that day.
  • Today both senses are generally indicated with an + accusative:
Er erinnerte mich an diesen Tag.
Ich erinnere mich an diesen Tag.
  • Occasionally, the reflexive verb is replaced with a simple verb + accusative object. Sometimes associated with Northern German, this usage is much less common:
Ich erinnere diesen Tag.
I remember that day.
But if a passive is desired such use is inevitable, though passive constructions are avoided altogether:
2001, Sebald, Winfried Georg, Austerlitz, Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag, →ISBN, page 173:
Jedenfalls war eines Tages dann unter der Post diese Ansichtskarte aus den zwanziger oder dreißiger Jahren, die eine weiße Zeltkolonie zeigte in der ägyptischen Wüste, ein Bild aus einer von niemandem mehr erinnerten Kampagne, […]

Conjugation[edit]

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