Monday, 9 February 2009

Word order 2

When you have a few things going on in a sentence there is a strict word order. We have seen that whenever you have a modal verb the second verb is always in the infinitive and always at the end of the sentence.

All the expressions in a sentence can be divided into expressions of time manner or place and all these expressions must come in that order within the sentence. This happens when it is a simple sentence like ‘Herr Gradwell kommt jeden Abend müde nach Hause’. The time is the evening, and he comes home in a tired manner to a place called home.

It is the same word order even if someone else thinks about what is happening – Seine Frau denkt , dass er jeden Abend müde nach Hause kommt. In sentences with modal verbs there is still the same word order in German. Er muss am Donnerstag mit dem Bus nach Lancaster fahren. When you are translating into German, don’t forget to check the order by remembering the words 'time, manner, place'. Thursday is the time, by bus is the manner and Lancaster is the place.

Make up your own sentences and think about the word order. It doesn’t have to have a modal verb in the sentence or a subordinate clause. This order works for every sentence.

Bis bald

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