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German Grammar Rules

Where is my verb??

In normal statements, the conjugated verb is ALWAYS the second element in the sentence. This is a very strict rule. But note: An ‘element’ may consist of more than one word: ‘heute Abend’ for instance, is just one element, as is ‘gestern um 12 Uhr’ -- both are simply time elements, even though they consist of several words.

“V2”: Almost any element OTHER than the verb can move to the first place in a sentence. If you want to emphasize the time 🗓 when something happened, start with the time element; if it’s the object that’s important, start with that.

But in all cases, no matter what starts the sentence, the verb will be the second element. If the subject is not the first element, then it will be third -- the verb and the subject always need to stay close together.


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