Grammar Tips: German Word Order

Grammar Tips: German Word Order

In statements, the initial conjugated verb is always the second element.

All other words appear in the following sequence: Time + Manner + Place

Time: “tomorrow” or “Wednesday of next week.”

Manner: how something is carried out “with my sister” or “on foot.”

Place: can refer to any location “Toronto” or “in the garden.”

Option A:

(Time) + (verb) + (subject) + (place)

Morgen fahre ich nach Hamburg.

Option B:

(Subject) + (verb) + (time) + (place)

Ich fahre morgen nach Hamburg.

If all three elements are present, time is always placed first.

(Time) + (verb) + (subject) + (manner) + (place)

Morgen fahre ich mit meinem Auto nach Hamburg.

In yes/no questions, verbs appear in the initial position.

Spielst du?                                       Are you playing?

Ja, ich spiele.                                   Yes, I am playing.

With two verbs the second verb always goes to the END.

Ich muss jetzt gehen. I must go now.

Ich habe die Pizza gekocht. I cooked the Pizza.

Ich werde bald reisen. I will travel soon.

 

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