These genitive causal (kausal) prepositions are so important in German language. Even though they are all synonymous in meaning to each other, they are never used under the same circumstances or situations. This has been clearly distinguished below. Find out!
The genitive prepositions aufgrund, infolge, anlässlich and wegen which belong in the category of causal prepositions are all similar in meaning both in German and English but the situations in which they are used are different.
As prepositions, they are of course used to declare a reason why a relationship between two nouns (events) is established. These prepositions even though are literally translated differently in English, they are all synonymous and are used under different situations or circumstances.
Despite the fact that these prepositions are synonymous in meaning, it is very vital to know when to use them individually because the wrong choice of any will greatly affect the intentions of the user and hence create a notion that probably wasn’t intended.
Differences between aufgrund, infolge, anlässlich and wegen
This is literally translated in English to “as a result of, due to or because of” and it is only used to show the reason for doing something that is good which leads to a positive or a happy-ending feeling. For example; Aufgrund deines Anrufs hat der Mann seinen Termin erinnert (Because of your call, the man has remembered his appointment). This simply implies that the man was happy he didn’t miss his appointment.
|1. Aufgrund meiner guten Deutscherkenntnisse habe ich diesen Job bekommen.|
2. Aufgrund des Stipendiums kann Sara weiter in der Universität studieren.
|I got this job because of my good knowledge of German.|
Because of the scholarship, Sara can continue to study in the university.
Unlike aufgrund, infolge is used in negative situations with a compulsive connection of the genitive with the rest of the sentence. It is equally translated in English to “as a result of, due to or as a result of” and used to stress out the negative consequence of something and considered as the opposite in intentions to aufgrund. For example; Infolge deines Anrufs hat der Mann seinen Termin erinnert.
What this scenario implies is that the man doesn’t want to attend the appointment and would have preferred forgetting it but since he got a call or heard a conversation which was probably a reminder of his appointment or about a similar appointment at all, he remembered his own. Hence, remembering it has a negative consequence for him which means he now has no excuse not to attend it.
|1. Infolge des Regens ist überall nass geworden.|
2. Infolge des Unfalls ist mein Knochen gebrochen.
|Everywhere has become wet due to the rain.|
My bone is broken as a result of the accident.
This genitive preposition is translated in English as “as a result of or on the occasion of”. It is only used in sentences that are related to celebrations and festivals such as weddings, jubilee, anniversaries etc. For example; Anlässlich des Betriebsfestes habe ich viele Mitarbeiter kennengelernt (on the occasion of the company festival, i got to know many colleagues).
|1. Anlässlich Terrys Hochzeit konnte ich unsere alte Freunde wieder treffen.||On the occasion of Terry‘s wedding, I could meet our friends again.|
On the other hand, wegen which is translated as “because of or as a result of” in English is used in a negative situation just like infolge except that it does not require compulsive connection of the genitive to the rest of the sentence. This is the difference between wegen and infolge. For example; wegen des Lärms kann man nicht zu Hause bleiben (Because of the noise, one can not stay at home)
|1. Wegen unserer Verspätung konnten wir nicht mehr um 8.00 Uhr nach Berlin fliegen.|
2. Infolge des Regens konnte Tia nicht mehr rausgehen.
|Due to our delay, we could no more go/fly to Berlin at 8 O’clock.|
Tia could not go out anymore because of the rain.