Word Order

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Word Order

There are a few essential rules to remember about word order in German sentences...

1. The main verb is always the second idea in a German sentence. If you start a sentence with something that isn't the subject of the verb, you must invert the verb (turn it around).

For example: Ich spiele jeden Tag Tennis.

Jeden Tag spiele ich Tennis. (The verb is turned around).

2. Some conjunctions affect word order. Look at the Conjunctions topic for help.

3. If the sentence contains elements of Time, Manner and Place, the elements must come in this order.

For example:

Ich fahre in den Sommerferien mit dem Auto nach Schottland
  (Time) (Manner) (Place)

4. When you form a question you invert the verb (turn it around).

For example:

Du spielst Tennis = you play tennis.

Spielst du Tennis? = do you play tennis?

5. There are specific rules concerning word order when using the perfect tense, future tense, modal verbs, separable verbs and reflexive verbs. Check out these sections if you are at all unsure.

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