"In the evening, Duo drinks wine from France with friends in his castle."
Translation:Am Abend trinkt Duo mit Freunden in seinem Schloss Wein aus Frankreich.
Sentences like this in the review REALLY frustrate me, because there's no explanation of them available. I do not understand German sentence order, and I'm not going to magically start because Duo keeps pounding away at throwing super complicated sentences at me. It makes this experience one of pure frustration.
Rearranging them wouldn't technically be wrong, but a native would almost always put them in that order.
German follows what's called "time-manner-place", and elements are usually in that order:
- time: am Abend
- manner: mit Freunden
- place: in seinem Schloss
(Then the direct object, Wein, goes last. Aus Frankreich follows Wein because it directly modifies it. The friends and castle aren't from France.)
"in his castle" is a locality (place). "with friends" is the manner. "object" does not belong into this rule, because the rule is about the order of adverbial determinations and not about objects.
The complete rule in German is "TeKaMoLo", which stands for temporal (time), causal (reason), modal (manner), local (place).
Objects usually come before all these. But the given sentence does not have an object.
Btw., in English the "royal order of adverbs" is manner-place-(frequency)-time-(purpose).
Well, the simple answer is that prepositions in any language are just what they are. They don’t always make consistent sense. Even in English, the examples you gave have the same pattern : at seven o’clock, at 2:30, at midnight, but in the evening.
I suppose a more specific answer might be that all the counter examples you gave are specific times, while “evening” (or “Abend”) is a longer period of time. I’m not going to say that that rule definitely holds across the board, but it might be at least part of the reason for the two different prepositions.
Starting the sentence with "Wein aus Frankreich" is very uncommon. This specifically stresses "Wein aus Frankreich" and you would only use it if you want to really emphasize it, e.g. when it is clear that Duo always drinks wine, but specifically the one from France is tied to a particular time of the day (very improbable).
But if you really want to do it, the rest of the adverbial determinations end up adjacent to one another. So they have to follow the "TeKaMoLo"-rule, which says "time before causality before modality before place". So it has to be "am Abend mit Freunden in seinem Schloss".
But you should rather follow the English sentence here and start the sentence with "Am Abend".