Meine Uhr geht drei Minuten nach in der Woche.

English Translation

My watch loses three minutes a week.

I can’t get my head around how “nach” works in this sentence. Is it one of those things that native speakers are just used to?

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It’s a separable verb again: “nachgehen”.

Die Uhr geht vor - the clock is running too fast (“goes ahead”)
Die Uhr geht nach - the clock is running too slow (“goes behind”)

If you want to say by how much:
Die Uhr geht 3 Minuten vor (e.g. displays 08:03 instead of 08:00)
Die Uhr geht 3 Minuten nach (e.g. displays 07:57 instead of 08:00)

The word order in this sentence sounds a little weird to me. I would say
Meine Uhr geht drei Minuten in der Woche nach.
Meine Uhr geht drei Minuten pro Woche nach.

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Fooled again by a separable verb! I should know better by now. If it had come at the end, I might have been suspicious enough to look up “nachgehen.”
Speaking of ‘looking up,’ a physical (book) dictionary gives a great sense of how often prefixes are used.The young who rely exclusively on excellent online resources like miss the stunning effect of how extensively German uses prefixes–page after page for “auf”!

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Just in case you didn’t know, you can enter “auf*” or “nach*” in and it’ll give you a list of words starting with that prefix.

You get 2905 for auf*, and 1798 for nach* :sweat_smile:

I’m only getting phrases that include the single word “nach” rather than compound words that begin with “nach.” In other words, usage.

Don’t forget the asterisk! It’s a placeholder for the rest of the word.

I haven’t use a search asterisk for years. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve been using as a ‘look-up’ dictionary for specific words because I want definitions, too, which I didn’t get with the asterisk-enabled list. Am I still missing something there?