Forum Rocket German German Grammar 5.1. Eine Flasche Wein Kaufen question

5.1. Eine Flasche Wein Kaufen question

The position of "wir" in this sentence is driving me crazy. :?: "Normalerweise verkaufen wir keine ungeöffneten Flaschen" and NOT "Normalerweise wir verkaufen keine ungeöffneten Flaschen??" I thought Wir always goes at the beginning and before the verb, like: - Wir verkaufen Wein - Wir verkaufen Flaschen - Wir verkaufen keine Flaschen

Hi there, thank you for your question. I'm sure that a lot of German learners wonder about that too. You are right, normally the "wir" would go in front of the verb, in this case the "verkaufen". Normally that soon as you add a word like "normally" (normalerweise) at the start of the sentence the word order changes. So it's the fault of the "normally" that nothing is normal. Here are some more examples: Gestern habe ich meinen Bruder gesehen - yesterday I saw my brother. Heute gehe ich ins Kino - Today I'll go to the movies. Without the word at the start the sentences would be in the following order: Ich habe meinen Bruder gesehen Ich gehe ins Kino So the only reason they are not is the word at the start. It's the same word order you would use in a question: Gehst du? - Are you going/leaving? Du gehst - You are going/leaving. Liebt er sie? - Does he love her? Er liebt sie. - He loves her. I hope that helps. Let me know if you want some more explanations or examples. :D


I have just joined Rocket German and think the grammar board is a fantastic and collaborative way for learners to work out the intricacies of German grammar. My suggestion to help others out with this query: i.e. why does placing the word "normalerweise" at the start of a sentence affect the word order of the rest of the sentence is this: Think of sentences being made up of "ideas" not words; thus the subject of a sentence could be one word,eg. du, sie...etc. or several words, eg. eine grosse Zeitverschwendung ( a big wast of time!). The MAIN rule in German sentence structure is that the VERB should always be the 2nd "idea" in a sentence. So, if you want to start your sentence with "normalerweise", then that is the 1st idea and the VERB must come next. So you can end up with a variety of sentences with the same meaning, but in a different form. German is much more flexible than English! In these sentences the verb is IST and the word/s in front of IST is/are the 1st idea. So, as long as you keep the verb as the 2nd IDEA in the sentence, whether the 1st idea consists of 1 or 100 words, you can' t go wrong. eg. Das IST normalerweise eine grosse Zeitverschwendung. OR Normalerweise IST das eine grosse Zeitverschwendung. OR Eine grosse Zeitverschwendung IST das normalerweise. (however this sounds clumsy.) I have always found this to be a helpful way to manage the rules about correct sentence structure. I hope that some of you intrepid German learners find it useful too. Thanks, Katharine (aus Tasmanien, Australien)


Wow, Katherine, thanks for putting it like that - that makes perfect sense.

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