The squire quickly hands the lance to the knight.
However, the word order remains the same if only the dative indirect object is a pronoun:. Der Knappe reicht ihr schnell die Lanze.
The squire quickly hands her the lance. Der Knappe reicht es schnell der Ritterin. The squire quickly hands it to the knight. If both objects are pronouns, the adverb slips to last place :. German generally puts them in the following order :. Die Ritterin gallopierte sofort mit angelegter Lanze zum Schlafort des Drachens. As you can see, the same rules apply whether we are talking about a simple adverb or an adverbial phrase.
Adverbs make life more complicated for German sentences. In the German language, as in English, if a sentence is made up of two clauses, these are often linked by conjunctions. Ihr Pferd war schnell und ihre Lanze war scharf.
Her horse was quick and her lance was sharp. They can be adverbial, or they can function as a direct object to the verb. Der Drache sah die Ritterin nicht kommen, weil es noch geschlafen hat. The dragon did not see the knight coming because it was still sleeping. Die Ritterin erfuhr bald, dass Drachen einen leichten Schlaf haben. The knight soon found out that dragons are light sleepers. Er fragte sich, WAS dieses Geraucht macht. As an observant student of German, you might have noticed that in ALL subordinate clauses , the verb comes at the very end. If the verb has an auxiliary, the auxiliary verb comes after the main verb:.
He raised his head to see what was approaching him. Even when battling dragons, make sure you put the verb at the end of German subordinate clauses.
Photo credit: Brenda-Starr via Visualhunt. In such cases, the auxiliary verb sneaks up the line to just before the participle or infinitive:. She ought to have turned her horse around immediately. She thought that she should have immediately turned her horse around. Learn more about German Verbs in this dedicated blog. While subordinate clauses usually come after the main clause, they can also come first. When you learn German , it is important to remember that they take the place of a noun or adverb , and as such, are considered part of the sentence and modifies word order in a complex sentence.
What does this mean? It means that if you decide to put the subordinate clause first, the next thing to come in the main clause is the VERB. The subordinate clause takes up the first position in the sentence, so the verb comes in second, and THEN the subject. Weil sie so schnell reitete, wusste die Ritterin nicht, ob sie noch rechtzeitig bremsen kann.
Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Nova Lee Maier ist das Pseudonym der Autorin Esther Mutter, ich habe getötet (German Edition) by [Maier, Nova Lee]. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Mike Muche, geboren in Unterfranken/ Bayern, ist Vater zweier erwachsener Töchter. begann seine Laufbahn.
Here we have two subordinate clauses. The first was shifted to the beginning of the sentence, so in the main clause the verb comes before the subject. The second is in its usual place after the main clause, and everything stays the same. Find your German language course now. The imperative is used to give an order or instructions; it is one of the few verb tenses that is only conjugated in the second person singular and plural and the first person plural.
In German grammar, the imperative is also conjugated in the third person plural — though purely as the formal version of the second person, rather than a true third person. In German imperative sentences, the verb comes first — as indeed, it does in English grammar:. Will the knight prevail? How does she do it?
There are two ways to ask questions in German, and a different word order for each. Question words are used whenever sentences need to be clarified. The answer to a question using a question word is usually an adverb or adverb clause within the answer:. Adverb of means. The knight packed hot sauce because she just came from a chilli cook-out. Adverb of reason.
In the German language, question words always come at the beginning of the question, and are followed by the verb:. In this, German is once again close to English, where a question word is followed by the verb: How are you? Where does this go? How much does this cost? As usual, the auxiliary verb is in second place, with the participle coming at the end of the sentence:. Do you tango?
Will I ever understand German word order? However, you will be happy to learn that German does not. In fact, you can take any perfectly normal sentence and simply flip the verb to first position to make it into a question:. Der Drache schnappt zu. The dragon snaps his jaws. And, of course, two-part verbs remain much the same, with the participle at the end :.
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