I am learning German and we got our first modal verb today, können. We have to put the sentence in order. The sentence pieces are: Die Schüler/gut/Deutsch/können/? Is the sentence suppose to be 1.Können die Schüler gut Deutsch? or 2.Können die Schüler Deutsch gut?

  • 1
    If you're supposed to making sentences, why make questions?
    – thekeyofgb
    Nov 12, 2014 at 0:03
  • 6
    Funny that in this sentence "können" is not used as as a modal verb.
    – Carsten S
    Nov 12, 2014 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Both are okay and they mean the same. There's a difference in tone. Or better, there's a difference in contextual appropriateness. That sounds very complicated but what I mean is simply that I think the second version is more likely in context where it has already been established verbally that the students speak German. I think in beginners class they'd expect you to use version 1 but if they claim that it's the only correct way, tell them to read up again because it just ain't true.


Just to make sure... both are questions, not statements.

  • Ok thank you. That makes a lot more sense!
    – Hannah
    Nov 12, 2014 at 0:25

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