"an" in these sentences



Hey there, would anyone be able to shed some light on this?  What does the "an" suppose to represent in these sentences.....Können Sie sich an mich erinnern or Erinnern Sie sich an mich? (Do you remember me/can you remember me)
I understand when they are separated as in a separable verb but on their own I'm a bit stuck. I'm starting to think that they are just fillers that are a bit untranslated into English


I find the meaning of "an" difficult too. In the dictionary it has many meanings.

It seems as though "an" + dative commonly means at.
"an" + accusative implies movement such as towards.

In your phrase it is "an" + accusative.

"can you remember me" in English doesn't require a preposition but My German friend tells me that it is essential in the German sentence. You would never say "Können Sie sich  mich erinnern". As far as I can see an is there to direct you to what it is that you have to remember, but doesn't have an exact English translation as it is not required in English.

We come back to "It's just what Germans say".


Thanks sfpugh! Yes I just have to accept, it's just what Germans say!

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