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A question about making simple sentences in German and S+V+O

Hallo :)

I started to learn German at school this year, and I have trouble making sentences cause as far as I know, the sentence structure of German is S+V+O.

If we go with that structure I think we should say "Ich habe Musik am Dienstag." but my workbook for German says "Am Dienstag habe ich Musik."

I couldn't understand why it says that, because the sentence before is a S+V+O sentence too.

Can someone explain this for me please?

January 26, 2018



Hello Yasmin!! the SVO idea is true but also quite simplified. It is true for the most basic default sentences. Another way to think about it that german Mainclauses (Hauptsätze, HS) have something that is called "Verb-Second-Rule". It means that the FINITE Verb (the verb that changes in accordance with the subject: ich gehe du gehst etc..) always comes in second position. Now dont confuse second position with second word. The sentence: "Ich habe Musik am Dienstag" can be arranged in different ways: Am Dienstag habe ich Musik, Ich habe am Dienstag Musik, Musik habe ich am Dienstag. Pls notice that the finite Verb always comes in second position, meaning after the "first chunk of information" (simplified).
there are different kinds "chunks of info" or adverbial info (adverbiale ergänzungen): (again a little bit simplified, it is more complicated than that but not alot)

temporal: answers the question "wann?" (when?) kausal: answers the question "warum?" (why?) modal: answers the question "wie?" (how?) local: answers the question "wo?" "wohin?" "woher?" (where? where to? from where?)

check out this sentence:

Ich fahre morgen mit meinem Fahrrad im Park.

lets break it up in "chunks of info"(adverbial info):

(ich) Subjekt (fahre) finite Verb 1. Pers SG (morgen) ADV temporal (mit meinem Fahrrad) ADV modal (im Park) ADV local

Now remember the rule: V2-rule says the only thing that is fixed, is the verb in second position. (SIMPLIFIED!! again there is more to it, but just get the idea)

this leaves us with a bunch of options:

Ich fahre morgen mit meinem Fahrrad im Park. Morgen fahre ich mit meinem Fahrrad im Park. Mit meinem Fahrrad fahre ich morgen im Park. Im Park fahre ich morgen mit meinem Fahrrad.

When to use which version highly depends on the context. Information that is more to left, is generally believed to be more relevant to the discourse.

The general rule for arranging Adverbial information is TE>KA>MO>LO so temporal before kausal before modal before local.

liebe Grüße David!!!



Thank you so much :)


German doesn't have svo, but v2 word order, that means, in main clauses the verb is in the second position (it's not even always the second word), so you can reorder sentences like yours to some extent:

  • Am Dienstag habe ich Musik.
  • Ich habe am Dienstag Musik.
  • Musik habe ich am Dienstag.

  • 1621

Danke David und Max.

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