Word order for sentences

Which german words change word order?


Do you mean with certain connectors or which words need a nebensatz or what? Can you give an example?

Sometimes the connectors require the verb right after (e.g. trotzdem, dann) - (ich habe deinen Post gelesen trotzdem habe ich den Punkt nicht verstanden).

Sometimes the verbs stay in the same position (if you make another Hauptsatz I believe) (this order seems a little more normal from my English perspective) ich habe deinen Post gelesen, aber ich habe den Punkt nicht verstanden.

Sometimes you get to think completely backwards with the nebensatz in German ( i think that is the right term). Ich habe seinen Post gelesen, aber ich weiss nicht, was er genau gemeint hat.

Hopefully one of the tutors can help you, but that is my advice as a fellow learner. Also, I believe Post as in an internet Post is masculine, despite Post refering to the mail being feminine. If am wrong please correct me in your crazy language.

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Ha, and to add on to this question… with my own question about word order.

I feel like from how I’ve learned German I always need to use this same formulaic pattern depending on the verb position.

Subject verb1 (other pronoun if there) time object verb2
ich muss euch heute Abend eine Frage ueber Wortordnung schreiben

This can change based on the connector, but I know it is absolutely incorrect to put the other pronoun later and I feel like changing the position of the time would also not be correct. If there is not another pronoun the time reference seems appropriate.

Also, now while I am writing this… Should Abend be capitalized there?


I always tell my students when referring to the structure of a HAUPTSATZ:

If you don’t start the sentence with a pronoun, then verb comes before the pronoun.

Ich gehe vielleicht schwimmen.
Vielleicht gehe ich schwimmen.


Yes Abend wird hier grossgeschrieben


What kgeisl1 wrote is absolutely correct!

This is my attempt to summarize German word order in one post. Here it goes…

There are two types of clauses: Main clauses and subclauses. In English, this distinction isn’t super important, but in German, it means:

A. In main clauses, the conjugated verb goes second. (Unless it’s a yes/no-question, more below!)
B. In subclauses, the verb goes last.

Main clauses are grammatically complete. They don’t need anything else to make sense.

As Jimmy said: it doesn’t really matter if you start with an adverb or the subject as long as the main verb goes in the second position.

Ich gehe morgen schwimmen.
Morgen gehe ich schwimmen.

There are only 5 connectors in German that are used to glue two main clauses together.

Mnemonic: Imagine a :balance_scale: , on the one side one main clause, on the other side the other main clause. The glue word (“coordinating conjunction” in fancy terms) is in the middle. Both main clauses remain as if they were on their own, with the verb second. We say these five take the “position zero” of the sentence because they are followed by an adverb or a subject (position 1) and then the verb (position 2).

Ich fahre morgen in den Urlaub, aber sie bleibt.

Any other conjunction is subordinating: WEIL, OBWOHL, WENN, DASS, ALS, NACHDEM, …

Ich rufe dich an, wenn ich zu Hause bin.

(PSSS :roll_eyes: also relative clauses are a type of subclause and you will need to put the verb in the end.)

Die Hose, die ich gekauft habe, gefällt mir nicht mehr.

Two exceptions and I promise I’m done!

  1. Yes/No-Questions: The verb goes first.

Hast du Game of Thrones gesehen?

  1. The verb goes first, when the main clause goes second.

Wenn ich zu Hause bin, rufe ich dich an.