I have read this link:

Word order with modal verbs in complex tenses

and I understand the word order fine when there is dass forming a Nebensatz and thus creating three verbs in a row, for example:

Ich weiss, dass ich dich hätte anrufen sollen.

However the following sentence structure confuses me in regards to the word order of the last three verbs:

Tina wird auch eingeladen werden müssen.

In English, this would be Tina will also have to be invited.

Why is the word order werden müssen, and not müssen werden?

  • For me as a native german speaker, the second example sounds rather odd, because of "wird" and "werden". I might just use "Tina muss auch eingeladen werden.", even if it may not be the correct tense.
    – Lars Ebert
    Mar 11, 2014 at 9:32
  • @ c.p What I'm asking is not why it doesn't match the english word order. That doesn't concern me and I enjoy finding the differences. I'm trying to now increase my complexity of conversation in German, and to do that, it's better to understand the concept of verb order when the sentences become more complex like this.
    – user5105
    Mar 11, 2014 at 9:38
  • The question mentioned by @Emanuel has some overlap but contains no passive voice.
    – Carsten S
    Mar 11, 2014 at 10:07
  • @CarstenSchultz ... that's true but my answer over there does explain the general system that also applies here.
    – Emanuel
    Mar 11, 2014 at 10:23
  • @user5105, can you point out more clearly which part of your question is not answered by the answer to the other question?
    – Carsten S
    Mar 11, 2014 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


Generally, what happens is the second to last move as described here.

All that missing is the fact why "werden müssen" and not "müssen werden"

The basic sentence is:

Tina lädt mich ein.

Now we can introduce a modal, a tense or a passive

Tina muss mich einladen.

Tina wird mich einladen.

Ich werde von Tina eingeladen.

What matters is, in which order the new verbs are introduced. And that's where you get your answer... you can add a modal on top of a passive but not the other way around. Because passive of a modal verb makes no sense.

Tina wird eingeladen. ... passive

Tina muss eingeladen werden .... modal - passive

Tina muss mich einladen. ... modal -

Ich werde von Tina eigeladen gemusst. ... nope, that doesn't make sense.

So for your original sentence the order was like this.

Tina wird eingeladen ... passive

Adding in a modal

Tina muss eingeladen werden.

Adding future

Tina wird eingeladen werden müssen.


I cannot give you any specific grammar rules, but maybe I can clarify the structure and some general principles. In German as in English, main clauses have Subject–verb–object order.

I hear the rain.

Ich höre den Regen.

However, in German the object comes before the verb in many (all?) other contexts:

What do you like to do? — To hear the rain.

Was tust Du gerne? — Den Regen hören.

Now we have this sentence:

Tina will                   .
          have to

The verb of each line refers to everything below it. Have to what? Be invited. (Not the best English, I know.)

This is the same sentence in German:

Tina wird                         .

The verb of the main clause comes before its object, all other verbs come after their objects.

While I think that this should already clarify things, how would a German parse the following sentence that you suggest?

* Tina wird eingeladen müssen werden.

Well, according to the above, that would have to be understood like that:

Tina wird                         .

This would be like

* Tina will will must invited.


* Tina will be must invited.

So, should you ever want to express that, you now know how to do it ;)

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