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

German Word Order?

Hi, I am doing quite well with my German vocavulary, but it is spoiled since I cannot really get the words in the right order and I'm slammed for it; could someone please explain it to me and help me out? Thanks

Kann jemand helfen mir dabei, bitte? Danke.

January 21, 2018

5 Comments


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

As you have noted, "word order' (die Wortstellung) is more variable in German than in English. The conjugated verb is always in second position in declarative sentences, otherwise .... The following site provides assistance to answer your query more completely: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/basics/sentence-structure/

P.S. "Kann mir, bitte, jemand dabei helfen?"

January 21, 2018

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

Thanks for the Link!

January 21, 2018

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

Gern geschehen! Ich wünsch' Ihnen viel Glück.

January 21, 2018

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

Usually the bitte is not separated by commas.

As regards word order rules: There will be exceptions. So it is best for learners to stick to standard constructions (one for statements, another one for questions, and yet another one for strange "dass" constructions and the like) and keep in mind that real proficiency in word order will come later, without any effort, simply by applying the language. Nevertheless if you wish for a brief glance at what is possible in German, let me return your question, JaEsti2 (I am just trying to put two replies in one), with a bunch of allowed variations:

  • Bitte, kann mir jemand dabei helfen?
  • Kann mir bitte jemand dabei helfen?
  • Kann mir jemand bitte dabei helfen?
  • Kann mir jemand dabei bitte helfen?
  • Kann mir jemand dabei helfen, bitte?
  • Bitte, kann jemand mir dabei helfen?

  • Bitte, kann jemand mir dabei helfen?

  • Kann bitte jemand mir dabei helfen?
  • Kann jemand bitte mir dabei helfen?
  • Kann jemand mir bitte dabei helfen?
  • Kann jemand mir dabei bitte helfen?
  • Kann jemand mir dabei helfen, bitte?

More unusual, but still grammatical:

  • Bitte, kann dabei mir jemand helfen?
  • Kann bitte dabei mir jemand helfen?
  • Kann dabei bitte mir jemand helfen?
  • Kann dabei mir bitte jemand helfen?
  • Kann dabei mir jemand bitte helfen?
  • Kann dabei mir jemand helfen, bitte?

Even more unusual, but still grammatical:

  • Bitte, kann dabei jemand mir helfen?
  • Kann bitte dabei jemand mir helfen?
  • Kann dabei bitte jemand mir helfen?
  • Kann dabei jemand bitte mir helfen?
  • Kann dabei jemand mir bitte helfen?
  • Kann dabei jemand mir helfen, bitte?

Please be aware that stress will tend to change with some of these word orders, and that meaning might be altered a bit as well. In the final block, for instance, where dabei is pushed towards the beginning of the question, its da- syllable will be stressed, thus taking the meaning "in that, and not in another thing". Or in the question Kann dabei jemand bitte mir helfen?" both da- and mir* would be stressed, thus shifting the meaning to "Can someone please help me -- and not someone else -- in doing this -- and not another thing?"

JaEsti2, you asked for it -- and now you have the salad c-; (okay, that is a German idiom, Nun haben wir den Salat. or Nun hast Du den Salat.).

And even dabei in final position is okay. So JaEsti2's question was 100% correct (but pretty unusual). There ought to be some 30 word orders which can be reckoned acceptable only by using those few words.

January 22, 2018

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

German word order - so amusing.

January 22, 2018
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