"Apfelsaft trinke ich"?

"Apple juice drinks I"? Is there some cases in German where the word order is switched?

December 21, 2011


It can be switched for emphasis. With some exceptions (notably, questions), the main verb always comes second in German, so you can say "Ich trinke Apfelsaft heute" (default), or "Heute trinke ich Apfelsaft" (to emphasise the "today"), or "Apfelsaft trinke ich heute" (to emphasise the applejuice). That said, this is an... unusual word order. The closer analogue in English would be "[It is] Apple juice I'm drinking" (as opposed to the orange juice that everyone else has), and as with that sentence in English you have to kind of set up a situation for it to make sense.

December 23, 2011

German has a much more flexible word order than English, because they use inflections and declensions to show which is the subject and which is the object or indirect object of a sentence.

In English we must say:

'The dog bit the man' because 'The man bit the dog' has a completely different meaning, but in German, you could either say 'Der Hund beisst den Mann' or if you want to emphasise that the man was bitten you can say 'Den Mann beisst Der Hund' the 'den' shows that 'Mann' is in the accusative case and is the object of the sentence so the meaning is still clear despite the word order being different.

March 27, 2012

But if you did want to say "The man bites the dog." in German. Would it be the same thing?

January 12, 2013

The man bites the dog = "Der Mann beißt den Hund" or (seldom used) "Den Hund beißt der Mann".

January 12, 2013

We can distinguish it if the noun is musculin. However, if the case is 'Die Katze beißt die Frau', which is subject and which is object?

May 6, 2013

In that case it cannot be distinguished, just from the isolated sentence, with absolute certainty in this case.

But unless the syntax definitely suggests otherwise, you can assume the word order subject - predicate - object, just like in (analytical) English grammar.

May 15, 2013

blahedo is not exactly right. Normally "Apfelsaft trinke ich heute" puts emphasis on the subject ("ich"), whereas "Ich trinke heute Apfelsaft" puts emphasis on the Object ("Apfelsaft"), and "Heute trinke ich Apfelsaft" puts emphasis on the time ("heute"). Furthermore "Apfelsaft trinke heute ich" is possible. Beware: Neither "Ich trinke Apfelsaft heute" nor "Heute ich trinke Apfelsaft" (representing the common phrase composition in english) are valid sentences in German!

March 2, 2012

Why is the first sentence not valid?

August 7, 2013

Because the time comes always first. "Ich gehe morgen ins Kino" is okay, but "Ich gehe ins Kino morgen" is not. So the correct would be: "Ich trinke heute Apfelsaft"

September 1, 2013

Not going to repeat what the others have said, they've explained it well. But just translate this to "I drink apple juice" regardless of the order.

March 22, 2012

flip it around as I drink apple juice

May 15, 2013

your wierd

May 15, 2013

True datt ^ (;

May 15, 2013

what are you learning Paytie?

May 17, 2013

As far as I know, you're free to swap the order around. Hence "Apfelsaft trinke ich" and "Ich trinke Apfelsaft" mean pretty much the same thing.

The conjugation of the verb helps you to tell that it's I that's doing the drinking (because it's "trinke" rather than "trinkt").

December 23, 2011

Es ist ein Apfel.

May 11, 2013

To make things more simple: The verb comes second. Hopefully that'll be easier to remember.

June 21, 2012

use this website, search for word-order I think...simple explanations for everything!

July 31, 2012


November 22, 2013

Yoda is here

December 31, 2012

leave a comment for me

December 2, 2013

It is worth adding that the place of the verb is fixed for every kind of sentence. In normal cases in present tense the verb is in the 2nd position (which is different from the 2nd word), as in: Der Hund beisst den Man. In some past tenses it is in the end, as in: Der Hund hatte den Mann gebissen (the dog had bitten the man). The verb also moves to the end in yes or no question and other cases, but it is impossible to get into all of them. The point is it is not up to the discretion of the speaker.

March 28, 2012

If I'm understanding, that form of expression is to emphasise the object. That's used, as an example, when you go to a bar. The waiter ask you and your friends what are you gonna drink: your friends say "we're gonna drink beer", an then you say "apple juice drinks I", not milk, not water, not beer... I want to drink APPLE JUICE

April 16, 2012

To address kawiah's stance: Nononono!

Flexible word order has absolutely nothing to do with active/passive distinction.

The correct German sentence, if expressed in the passive form, would be:

"Der Mann wird vom Hund gebissen" (The man was bitten by the dog).

"Vom Hund wird der Mann gebissen" would also be grammatically correct, but rather unusual.

Note that, like in the active form, the personally, temporally conjugated verb (in this case the auxiliary verb "werden" (- "er wird [gebissen]") is in the second position in the sentence, no matter whether the sentence starts with the subject or the object.

September 2, 2012

As people stated before, the verb HAS to be the second word in a sentence. The other words can be placed according to the way you want them emphasised. This goes for simple sentences (where the verb is in active form), for example: "Ich ESSE Spaghetti "( I eat spaghetti) In case you have to use passive forms or some past tenses, where the verb complex is composed by an active verb and an infinitive form, for example: "Ich HABE Spaghetti gegessen" (I have eaten spaghetti) "Spaghetti WIRD von mir gegessen" (spaghetti is eaten by me) the "real" verb (active form verb) goes in the second place, while the infinitive form is placed at the end of the sentence. Hope this helped :)

November 16, 2012

Regardless, the verb always comes in 2nd position in a sentence (except in other types of sentences, i.e. with "dass"). Pretty much everything else can be switched around for emphasis or style purposes. It is though, a weird choice to put this kind of word order in the beginners' lessons.

December 18, 2012

Apple juice loves the Yoda Master.

May 29, 2013

theres a simple way to remember word order SVOV . subject, verb, other stuff. for Questions,VSOS, Verb, subject ,other stuff. and then transposed is SOSV, subject, other stuff, verb. HOPE IT HELPS SOMBODY!!!

October 26, 2013

Problems with duolingo there is

January 29, 2014
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