https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Holman540

German word order

Ok so one thing that I'm having trouble with for German is in some cases the words need to be placed out of order. Eg for "I wanted to see the city" it would be "ich wollte die stadt sehen". Whereas my assumption would be "ich wollte sehen die stadt". Is there a good way to identify when the word order needs to be changed?

January 17, 2017

7 Comments


[deactivated user]

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aredlefty

    VIELEN DANK! I have so much trouble figuring out where to put "bitte" when I'm writing formal emails.

    January 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grey236

    This website looks helpful: https://coerll.utexas.edu/gg/gr/con_06.html

    Based on what I know about Dutch and Germanic languages in general, German follows an SVO(V) word order; that is, Subject-Main Verb-Object-Other Verb. In sub-clauses, it would be SOV(V). This sentence follows SVO(V). It can be hard to wrap your head around it as English has lost this word order (we strictly use SVO), but after awhile it should make sense.

    January 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/david3dd

    Using a "modal" verb (wollte in your example), makes all other verbs (such as sehen) to stack up on the end of the sentence.

    Ich sehe XXXX. Ich will XXXX sehen.

    Sie kauft Schuhe. Sie will Schuhe kaufen.

    January 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dragonzkiller

    Non-modal verbs do the same thing. All second (and lower) verbs go to the end in a specific order. Modal verbs only mean that the verb doesn't use the "zu" with the next verb.

    "Wir brauchen jemand zu gehen." -> We need someone to leave.

    January 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/david3dd

    Ja. I was trying to keep the answer simple and on-point, using OP's own example.

    January 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathonKe8

    This actually answered a lot of my own questions, dankeschön ihr.

    January 18, 2017
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