Whereby followed by a comma

followed by


My German teacher explained in 1975 that the phrase “followed by” was incorrect. Today, however, this form is used more and more - and not only by sports reporters, but also, for example, in the features section of the NZZ or in high-quality presentations, etc.

The violinist from A won first prize followed by her colleague from B.
The fine dust concentration in Neudorf is very high, followed by that in Altdorf.

If that were correct, the following should also apply: I am followed by my child. Or not? What do you think?


Dear Ms. F.,

You are asking a question that has given me some headache. So that you do not take this as a reproach, let me add the following: I actually prefer such questions.


The expression followed by I think that's correct. For example, it can be found in the example sentences in Duden, The Great Dictionary of the German Language:

Followed by various dignitaries, he entered the hall

Above all, it has the meaning accompanied by. In modern usage, followed by more and more used in a broader sense; for example in your example sentences. I am inclined to regard this usage as correct (I am not such a strict grammarian). The expression followed by has to a certain extent differed from the verb consequences solved and which have the function of an independent preposition.


I found that more and more astonishing is the twist be followed by is used. For example:

Each numerical value is followed by an explanation.
The economic revival was followed by a political revival.

I consider these forms to be wrong, even if they appear to be relatively common. It is a passive construction that uses a verb someonen consequences presupposes. But in German it says someonem consequences. So the correct formulation would be:

Each numerical value is followed by an explanation.
The economic revival was followed by a political revival.

Where did this form come from be followed by comes, unfortunately I can't explain. More detailed investigations would be necessary for this. Perhaps it will be analogous to verbs like accompany (be accompanied by) educated. Influences from somewhat literal translations from English or French, where such passive sentences are correct, are also possible: to be followed by resp. être suivi par. But of course these are only a few unfounded "quick fixes".

It may also be the passive construction be followed by one day will be correct German. For the time being, I wouldn't use it in standard German. I am therefore keeping your example sentence I am followed by my child for not correct.

With best regards

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, Grammar