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What German words cause inversions?

Most beneficial answer will receive some lingbots. Thanks

July 4, 2017



Since german uses a V2-system theres no inversion in german (since you can swap things by default without changing the entire meaning).

Beside that questions and commands follow a different word order. So you might say the question is an inverstion of a main clause.

Statements (normal sentence) have in its mainclause the verb always at second position. So you can spot the main clause with the V2. Subordinate clauses have different orders and can be spotted by the komma and the word that indicates the subordinate clause (mostly a konjunktion but not always)

To spot a question in german, there will be a question mark and the sentence starts either with a question word (Was/what, Wer/who, where/wo, etc.) OR with the verb (and then its a yes/no question).

To spot a command, the sentence starts with a verb and that verb is in imperative.


Did you read the German Wikipedia artikle here (the introduction)


and a bit later


Conclusion in short: According to these explanations, inversion does not really exist in German.


Weil and Dass.

Du hast Hunger, weil du nicht essen hast.

Ich weiss, dass du sauer bist.


thanks Bob. Yeah I knew that weil and saft cause inversions but I wondered if there were any more words that do as well.


Saft means Juice. That doesn't cause inversions.......


Also adverbs used in the beginning of a sentence invert the subject and verb.

Jetzt habe ich mein Handy.

Spaeter mache ich das Abendessen.

It's only if the adverb is in the beginning of the sentence.

Ich habe mein Handy jetzt.

Ich mache das Abendessen spaeter.

I feel it sounds more natural to put the adverbs in the beginning though.


This is just howhow the V2 works and its not about the adverb. Its a "somehow" free word order (there are some restrictions but its not as strict as english).

Jetzt habe ich mein Handy. Something (adverb) on Pos1, Verb on pos2, something (nominative) on pos 3, something (accusative object) on Pos4.

Mein Handy habe ich jetzt. Ich habe mein Handy jetzt. Ich habe jetzt mein Handy.

You dont have use SPO in german at all. You could always OPS(and everything else after the subject) if you like that. Den Ball werfe ich. Dem Nachbarn schicke ich den Brief. Den Brief schicke ich dem Nachbarn.

EDIT: Thats for mainclauses, subordinate have a different structure.

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