German word order?!??

Peter-B1

Peter-B1

ok can someone PLEASE explain to me German word order? its so confusing! Im really good at learning new words but I can't use them because I dont know how to build a sentence longer then 5 words in German because of the weird order they place their words! If someone could explain it to me that would be awesome!
Prussian-Turtle

Prussian-Turtle

Are you wondering about word order in general or a specific one-e.g. nouns, verbs, preps.? :)
Peter-B1

Peter-B1

haha just word order in general! can you give me any tips or advice on it?
Prussian-Turtle

Prussian-Turtle

German follows the subject-verb-predicate structure just like English, in most cases. Ex. "Ich habe eine Frage"-I have a question. Sometimes, the verb does have to go before the subject, such as if you want to say "Today I stayed at home" turns out as "Heute blieb ich zu Hause" (Today stayed I at home). Of course you could say "Ich blieb heute zu Hause" so you wouldn't have to deal with that. There are also several other times when the verb has to do something else because of a different sentence component-ex. "I want to go shopping with you" is "Ich will mit dir/Ihnen einkaufen"-literally: I want with you to shop. The infinitive verb goes to the end because of the conjugated verb. If you have both an accusative and a dative object that aren't pronouns, the dative will go first. "Ich gebe der Frau ein Geschenk."-I give the woman a present; like English. If you have an accusative pronoun, but not a dative one, the accusative goes first. "Ich gebe es der Frau."-I give it to the woman. If the dative is a pronoun, but not the accusative, the dative will go first. "Ich gebe ihr ein Geschenk." And if both are pronouns, the acc. will go first. "ich gebe es ihr." It doesn't make sense sometimes in English, but I'm pretty sure that's how it is. It's confusing, but if you practice it (I know, everyone says that...) in time it'll be easier. I still have trouble sometimes remembering the word order, usually when I'm tired or have been doing too many things at once. :) If this explanation didn't help/only confused you more, just say so and I'll see if I can try to explain it better? (I'm by no means an expert on this as I usually have more enthusiasm about German than actual competence, so if any of the above is incorrect, feel free to correct! :) )
Davida-S

Davida-S

Hello Prusian Turtle, Thanks for the excellent explanation about word order, it is totally appreciated.
Prussian-Turtle

Prussian-Turtle

You're welcome, and thank you for the kind comment! I'm glad I could help. :)
Abhishek

Abhishek

There are three kind of sentences: 1. Statements: These follow two kinds of word orders: a. Subject - Verb - Predicate e.g. Der Mann liest ein Buch. b. Predicate - Verb - Subject - Predicate: e.g. In die Schule gehe ich. Here, the clause ' in the Schule' is the predicate. However, some part of the predicate may follow the subject e.g. like adjectives, adverbs etc. E.g. In die Schule gehe ich langsam. 2. Questions: There are two kinds of questions: a. Non Wh - questions: Such kind of questions are also called 'Ja/Nein' questions because the answers to these question are always 'Ja/Nein'. In such case the word order is Verb - Subject - Predicate e.g. Lesen Sie ein Buch? b. Wh - questions: Such kind of questions always demand for a fact. The answer to such kind of question can never be 'Ja/Nein'. In such case the word order is Question word - Verb - Subject - Predicate e.g. Wie lesen Sie ein Buch? Buch? 3. Imperative: Word order is Verb - Subject - Predicate e.g. Lesen Sie ein Buch! 4. Conditional: Here two statements are combined by a conjunction like aber, und, obwohl etc. and the conjugated verb in the result clause in put at the end. e.g. Ich will eine Halskette kaufen, wenn ich Geld habe. Hope that clears your confusion Abhishek, Mumbai,Indien
Kenneth-M2

Kenneth-M2

Thats really good. Most of the time when im doing the lessons i think to myself they should have: 1. German Sentence 2. English Translation 3. Direct Translation in English Where it would just have German sentences translated exactly into english where the words fall. Not sure if it would help but i would be funny.
Douglas-B2

Douglas-B2

This is the best website I have ever found on the subject and they give tons of examples. There are also many other pages relating to common German sentence forming frustrations. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/WordOrder/WordOrder.html
Davida-S

Davida-S

Once again, I thank you. I marked the website as a favorite and will read and study it. Perhaps my frustration level will abate when I understand how to put words properly together.
Kenneth-M2

Kenneth-M2

Try This... Duetscher Chat (Requires Flash) http://www.everywherechat.com/chatnow.php?defaultRoom=AboutGerman_Chat Full of native speakers and people practicing. All very happy to correct you at the time you make the mistake, great practice. Ken.
Peter-B1

Peter-B1

Thanks everyone for all the helpful tips! I shall have to check those web-sights out and see If German word order become a little more clear to me. - Peter
mikeguy

mikeguy

I like Kenneth M2 idea...for me I think it would be helpful for me to think in the order German's put their words rather than English order so I can get used to phrases that sound: I with you like to go!! I want to also think in German!!
Kenneth-M2

Kenneth-M2

http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa032700a.htm German Word Order - Read Thoroughly and it should help. Quote: “If you don't remember anything else about word order, remember that the verb is always in second place.”
stuart-G2

stuart-G2

NEED SOME HELP ON GENERAL KNOWLEDE CONVERSATION , MUST GIVE SMALL SEMINARS, GRAMMER , MUST TALK ABOUT MUSCLELATO OF BODY , DIFFERENT AREAS OF GERMANY, HISTORY OF GERMANY, CAN ANYONE SUGGEST A WEBSITE? THANKS
mikeguy

mikeguy

If I were to put words in the wrong order, would I still be understood as viewed as a dumkoff? It seems in English you can pretty much put things in what ever order you want( unless you want to be 100% grammatical which only English teachers are!)

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