"They had tested the students before the breakfast."
Translation:Sie hatten die Schüler vor dem Frühstück geprüft.
Why can we not say: "Sie hatten vor dem Frühstück die Schüler geprüft."?
I would say it is usually interchangable, at least in this case. Hence you are correct ;)
I believe putting die Schüle next to geprüft would stress the fact that they tested "the students", and not somebody else, before breakfast.
That version might put emphasis on the Schüler rather than the time, but the english version does not indicate anything of the sort, so both options should be correct IMO.
Yeah, I put the same and lost a heart. I thought for a moment that was because of the rule Akk. before Dat., but I checked and that happens just if both objects are nouns! (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=698884&langid=24). Someone please explain!
Saying "the breakfast" only makes sense if the reader / listener is aware of one particular breakfast. Normally there would be no "the" here.
I pictured a big group breakfast event in my head when reading this sentence. :)
After all these years! Me too, I wondered about the 'the' before breakfast. Makes me wonder who is making up these sentences.
Why is 'bevor' vs 'vor' incorrect? That was my only difference to the suggested answer.
In this context I think that would be because "bevor" could be used if a conjunction were required (joining two clauses) but what is required here is a preposition (as there is only one clause), so "vor" is used as the preposition with "the breakfast" as its object.
Exactly. "Vor" is a preposition. You say "vor dem Frühstück". But you can't say "bevor dem Frühstück". "Bevor" is a conjunction. You could say "bevor sie frühstückten."
"geprüft" is a participle. It doesn't change according to person or number. The only verb that's conjugated is the auxiliary "haben".
Give these a thorough read:
What is wrong in this sentence please "Sie hatten vorm Frühstuck die Studenten geprüft" ?
Why not " Sie hatten die schüler vor das Frühstück geprüft"? I thought it would takes accusative because there is an action here in this sentence? Wrong?
Can we say "Vor dem Frühstück hatten sie die Schüler geprüft" too? I think it is like saying Morgen dürfen wir zu Hause gehen versus We dürfen morgen zu Hause gehen. In the first sentence, is put in evidence the point of time, in the second is put in evidence the action. "Vor dem Frühstück hatten sie die Schüler geprüft" is a little different like saying "Sie hatten die Schüler vor dem Frühstück geprüft". Dear experts of German, am I right??
Why "Schüler" and not "Studenten"? Also, why not "getestet" instead of "geprüft"?
Isn't before translated bevor and not just vor while vor is in front of?
In German you don't make a real difference between time and place prepositions. 'Vor/bevor' means both 'before' and 'in front of'. There is no real difference between 'vor' and 'bevor'.
Not true. Vor/bevor are used differently. Bevor is a subordinating conjunction, whereas vor is not. Vor is used in prepositional phrases. Bevor ich zum Markt gehe, muss ich meine Mutter schlagen <-- Requires bevor here (vor is wrong in this context). Vor der Prüfung, schlage meine Mutter (this context requires vor, whereas using bevor here would be wrong).
What's wrong with (or what would the translation be) for "Sie hatten die Studenten geprüft vor dem Frühstück"?
German word order requires the past participle in this instance to be placed at the end of the clause. It will always come towards the end but sometimes another verb or two might come after it (such as in a subordinate clause).
"Sie hatten die Studenten geprüft, bevor das Frühstück" is marked incorrect, but it seems like it should be okay. Can't you split it into two clauses like that?