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Confused about sentence structure!

Hi all, I have been reading Harry Potter to better my german and have come across a sentence that I need explaining.

I understand the sentence just fine but am a little confused about the way it has been structured;

"nanu, dieser Mann dort musste älter sein als er"

My confusion is with the "sein als er" part. Shouldn't "als er" come before "sein", as it is the second verb (first being "musste") and hence should go at the end of the sentence?

Anyone able to clear this up for me!? Cheers.

March 19, 2018



Both are ok. Often, the order of a comparison is switched in this way, when one part is a longer phrase (e.g. "... sein, als er anfangs gedacht hatte.") or also with shorter parts in colloquial speaking.


must be older than he is ==> auxiliary .... main verb


https://www.thoughtco.com/german-lesson-comparison-of-adjectives-4069755 Comparisons are difficult. In English we say "That man must be older than he is." In the German sentence, I did not see the second verb, so it is more like "That man must be older than him."


I hope a German chimes in on this.

[deactivated user]

    A lingot to you for reading Harry Potter in German. Duolingo can only prepare us so much. Good job!

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