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I don’t understand how the following sentence is put together:

Aber über eines waren sich nach wie vor alle einig: So wie bei Momo konnte man sonst nirgends spielen.

Any ideas on how to break it up into its constituent parts?

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I don't quite understand the question. What do you want? To locate the Verb, Subjekt, usw. ? And, isn't alle instead of all ? –  c.p. Sep 14 '13 at 13:12
    
Yes - you're right, it should be alle (thank you @chirlu for editing). I know what the individual words mean, but I don't understand how to group them or what the groups mean. For example, 'sich nach wie vor alle einig' is gobbledegook to me (themselves to how before all united ???) - it's how the sentence is structured that I don't get. –  Neil D Sep 14 '13 at 17:24
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Now you got three answers within one minute. :-) –  chirlu Sep 14 '13 at 18:18
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I’ve inserted slashes to separate the different parts and given English glosses for each:

Aber / über eines / waren sich / nach wie vor / alle / einig.
But / regarding one thing / were (–) / now as before / all people / agreed.

The main stumbling blocks here, I guess, are the collocation “nach wie vor” (meaning still) and the verb construction that is quite different than in English: “sich einig sein” = “to agree”. Additionally, in English you would probably use everyone + singular, instead of “alle“ + plural.

So / wie bei Momo / konnte / man / sonst nirgends / spielen.
So / like at Momo’s / could / one / nowhere else / play.

This should be reasonably clear. It is this whole sentence that “über eines” from the previous sentence refers to.

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Aber über eines waren sich nach wie vor alle einig: So wie bei Momo konnte man sonst nirgends spielen.

The verb in the first part is “sich über etw. einig sein”, that is “to agree about sth.” “Nach wie vor” is a German idiom meaning “still”. So the first part translates as

But about one thing (=über eines) everybody (=alle) still (=nach wie vor) agreed (=sich einig sein): …

Please consider that German “alle” is plural while “everybody” is (at least grammatically) singular.

The second part after the colon means:

As good as at Momo’s one couldn’t play anywhere else.

The word “good” isn’t actually there in the German sentence, but “so wie” can be understood as “so gut wie” in this case here.

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We have two sentences one before and one after the semicolon.

Before the colon

  • nach wie vor is a time adverb, meaning still, as always
  • sich über (akk.) etwas einig sein is a reflexive verb meaning to share the same oppinion about, to agree (the sich is really important!) The oppinion is precisely what follows the semicolon.
  • alle is the subject: everybody
  • eines here stands for something

After the colon

  • so wie bei Momo means like at Momo´s (place)
  • nirgends means nowhere; sonst is otherwise, else
  • man is the subject

Perhaps it could be clear if we modify the order so that it reseambles the order [Subject, verb, complements...] in the following way:

Aber alle waren sich nach wie vor über eines einig: Man konnte so wie bei Momo sonst nirgends spielen.

Note in both sentences of both version the verb is placed at the second postition, as it should. The whole translation were already given in other answer, some seconds before I posted this answer, but I guess translation wasn't the goal of this question, so I won't repeat it.

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