Tag Archives: german sentence structure

Sentence Structure Work Out 2

sentence-structure-verb-undHello everyone,

and welcome to your little doze off German.. oh… I mean dose of German. Two weeks ago we did a little exercise for sentence structure and so we’ll do it again today. Yeaaaay. And if you’re now like “What… again? Can’t we rather do words or grammar?” then let me tell you to shut up. Oh… I meant: don’t worry. We won’t do work out all the time. I just want to do this one now because that’s how we roll. Haters gonna hate.
Seriously though, many of you enjoyed the sentence structure work out and I think we’ll make that into a regular thing here. Do a little session every once in a while, each time with a different focus and a bit of info around it. Topics like relative clauses, or danach or bevoror indirect speech or… common mistakes. Which is what we’ll focus on today.
Many of you tried out examples in the comments last time and the great thing about that is that we can find common mistakes that way. And then we can talk about them, clear up the confusion and do some more examples. Give those muscles a little extra work out, if you will. So are you ready to step on the Structurator® and get sweaty? Great :).

German Main Sentences 2 – The Beginning and the End

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of our look at the basics of

German Sentence Structure

And because that sounds very boring and dry, we’ll from now on call it

“The Tao of Sen”

In the first part (find it here), we took a brief look at sentences in general and then focused on the struct… I mean Tao of main sentences.
Here it is again:

We then talked about the “verb second” and that’s where we left off.
Today, we’ll explore the other important positions, namely the first position and the end of the sentence.
And in part three, in the extra long season finale, we’ll then finally talk about side sentences, see what they are, learn a really intuitive hack why their structure makes sense AND we’ll find out one of the deepest, mind-bendingest and most surprising insights about the German language (and that you already know if you’re a long time reader ;)).
So yeah… the last episode is top notch. But the one of today isn’t bad either. You know… one of those bori... I mean slow mid-season episodes.
By the way, I desperately need series recommendations for the coming winter, so if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments.
But now, are you ready to jump back into the “Tao of Sen“?
Then let’s go.

German Sentence Structure – Main Sentences

german-main-clause-image

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of our absolutely epic German online course.
And today, we’ll tackle one of the most confusing topics of German grammar

German Sentence Structure

German sentence structure seems like a twisted mess to learners, especially because very few languages can relate.
On some deep level, Japanese has more in common with German structure than English does.
But even though German sentences might seem quite weird at first and they definitely take some serious getting used to, the whole topic is actually not all that complicated.
There are essentially two key features that we need to understand and the rest is more or less a result of those.
One of them is this Vate™-stuff (“verb at the end”), which we’ve already touched on in the Essentials-lectures. And the other one also has to do with the verb.

So are you ready to jump in?
Then let’s go.

German Word Order – Explained

german-word-order-explanatiHello everyone, and welcome.
It’s been kind of a tradition here to kick off the new year with a deep look at German sentence structure.
And I have a hunch that the topic that’ll perfectly match this year is…

Word order in German

Because it is a freaking mess!!
I am looking at you, 2020! Don’t pretend like you’re normal.
But amid all this chaos we can also find and discover new things. About life, ourselves, the world. And in case of word order about German.
Because if you think of German as a “rule”-language you’ll be VERY surprised at what’s going on under the surface.
So here’s what we’ll do. First we’ll take a look at the commonly known rules for word order and we’ll explain why they suck…what their shortcomings are. Then, we’ll have a look at what German word order is really about and then, we’ll finally zero in on one core idea. An idea that explains… everything.(word dramatized, may not actually mean everything, no refunds)
So are you ready to dive in and find out? Great.

The Box Model – a tool for sentence structure

 

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Before you start reading…


This post is more of about a general theory as well as the terminology I use to explain German structure
(word order, position of nicht and so on)
I really recommend reading this, but if you want to get to word-order right…
there’s a mini-series about that. Here’s the link to part 1 :)

German Word Order Explained

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Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German is Easy Learn German Online while reading titles that span over one line Course… ( get it? … one line is almost spelled like online… that was a joke by the way) .
Today, after a long looooong wait, it is time… for the first part of the mini series series on German sentence structure.
Wohooooo….
And to do the matter justice this mini series will be a loosely connected compendium of impressionistic essays, poems, songs and one or two Haikus inspired by the topic.
“But we want rules, Emanuel! Give us RULES, BRO!!”
I understand where you’re coming from. But can a rule help us understand the erratic path of a butterfly? Can a rule ever completely capture and produce the beautiful sound of small stream as it purls over mossy rocks? And aren’t there exceptions where there are rules just as there is fire where there’s smoke? My whole point is – and this is really really important:

rules won’t cut it with German sentence structure

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like you can put anything anywhere in a German sentence. When it comes to verbs, there are some iron clad rules and in books and other sources (like Easy German… hey Cari ;)) you can find other rules too, like, say, indirect object – direct object or time-manner-place.
But what’s really really important is that you try to see them like traffic lights: non-binding advice. Wait, is that actually right :)?
Anyways, German sentence structure and word order is a complex thing that needs a lot of gut feeling. We’ll learn some rules in this mini series, but the more important part are general ideas or characteristics of German, that will help you determine which word can go where and why.
And to start this all of we will have a look at what I call:

The Box Model

German Word Order – Part 2

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the second part of our look at the mess that seems to be

German Word Order

And before we get to it let’s do a super quick recap what we learned in part one. (find it here) we’ve learned three things.
Number one:
The rules you can usually find are … not very good. And how could they. Because number 2:
There are no rules. And there’s not one correct order. There’s a default order which is the result of a fascinating interplay of several forces, pulling the elements in different directions. And the speaker has a lot of freedom to rearrange stuff for emphasis. Problem is that these interactions are uber complex and dynamic. We cannot really “learn” that. Which leads us directly to number three:
In linguistics there is the concept of a head of a phrase and we learned that German is at it’s soul a head-final language. You know… like its close relatives Korean and Japanese. They’re head final too.
Today, we’ll find out how this head-final-ness of German can help us explain everything. Well, not everything, but a lot. It’s going to be tough and I’m not saying that every sentence you’ll ever say will be correct. But at least things will make sense. Promise!

German Word Order – Part 3

Hello everyone,

and welcome to the third part of our mini series on

German Word Order

and if you haven’t read part 1 and part 2 yet, you really should do that because today’s post won’t make much sense without it. So here they are:

And no, there will be no recap. Our poles won’t get one either.
Wow, Worst Pun Ever Award, I’m coming.
Anyway, so last time was all about head final and the notion of important stuff coming very late. But it turned out that this couldn’t quite explain everything. Because it’s actually only half of the the truth. Today, we’ll look at the other half. So… are you ready to jump in once more, even if the water looks a little nerdy?
Awesome.