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I am trying to understand how to put this sentence together correctly.

Where should I put “mit meinem Mann” in this sentence:

Ich würde gern ? im Sommer ? nach Italien ? fahren.

I know in sentence-structure "time" comes before "space", so I guess the first part of my sentence is correct, but I am not sure about where to put this part of this sentence: "mit meinem Mann". I put the question marks in the spots I would possibly add this last part of the sentence.

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    Positioniere ihn auf dem Beifahrersitz. :) – user unknown Jan 12 '15 at 7:07
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You can put it almost everywhere.

Ich würde [mit meinem Mann] gerne ...
Ich würde gerne [mit meinem Mann] im Sommer...
Ich würde gerne im Sommer [mit meinem Mann] nach Italien fahren.
(Ich würde gerne im Sommer nach Italien mit meinem Mann fahren).

The first 3 are perfectly idiomatic and there is little to no difference in emphasis. The last one sounds very odd and borders on wrong. The reason is not the TeKaMoLo-stuff that is being taught in school as if it were a rule. It's not!
The reason why having anything come after "nach Italien" is simply that the destination is the most defining and relevant piece of information for the verb "fahren". And it's also a new information so it's both new and relevant. It can be without it just fine. The crucial things is this... the more relevant for a verb, the more on the right a piece of info comes, provided it's new. The "with whom"-part is not very relevant. That's why it sounds odd to have it come after "nach Italien".

  • Thanks, very clear. I am just wondering then: what do you think about the so called "TeKaMoLo-stuff"? How accurate is that? I am always so confused about where to put the different parts..and that was my "salvation" rule! XD – E.V. Jan 7 '15 at 15:16
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    @Elisabetta... it is basically an observation of what orders are the most common ones. If you stick to it you should have a higher chance than pure guessing to get it right. But it has nothing to do with the underlying mechanics. I'm just preparing an article about that on my blog. I'll give you the link once it's done. – Emanuel Jan 7 '15 at 15:28
  • Is the article going to be in English or German? Looking forward to reading it! – E.V. Jan 7 '15 at 15:32
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    @Elisabetta... part 1 is here yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/german-word-order part 2 (the meat) comes next week. – Emanuel Jan 7 '15 at 23:42
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depends, what is more important comes after gerne. "Gerne" is a way to accentuate "würde". "Gerne" means "with pleasure", and after "würde" that means "would like" its a strong accentuation. Normally you say "gerne" after "würde" if you want to express a condition in a wish. It can be followed by "und nicht [...]" expressing something you hate most.

Ich würde mit meinem Mann im Sommer nach Italien fahren

I would like to travel with my husband to Italy in the summertime. You do not need to add "gerne". You express a wish.

Ich würde mit meinem Mann gerne **im Sommer** nach Italien fahren ...

Now you have added "gerne". Now its not only a wish any more. Its also a condition. You would not like to do it in the wintertime ... it is essential that the travel is in the summertime.

Ich würde gerne **mit meinem Mann** im Sommer...

...it is essential to travel with your husband, not someone elses husband ;-) (or another person)

Ich würde gerne **im Sommer** mit meinem Mann nach Italien fahren, im Winter habe ich was besseres zu tun.

... it is essential to travel ("in the summertime" && "with my husband" && "to italy")

Ich würde im Sommer mit meinem Mann gerne **nach Italien** fahren, und nicht anderswohin.

its essential that the travel goes to Italy, and not somewhere else.

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I would say it this way, but I am no native speaker:

Im Sommer würde ich gern nach Italien fahren.

(Based on: Ich würde gern ? im Sommer ? nach Italien ? fahren.)

If you need to add mit meinem Mann, I would do this:

Im Sommer würde ich mit meinem Mann gern nach Italien fahren.

German word order is flexible, and you mustn't fall into the trap of imitating English syntax by starting with 'ich'. Also, remember that there is no simple 'right' or 'wrong' in such cases.

  • Die Seite ist keine Meinungs- oder Befindlichkeitsseite, wo jeder hinschreibt was er machen würde. Was Du persönlich machen würdest interessiert hier nicht, sondern was richtig ist, und wieso. Da es schon eine Antwort gibt, die Deine Option enthält, müsstest Du also darlegen wieso Du die anderen Optionen ablehnst. Ansonsten solltest Du die Antwort, wenn Du sie richtig findest, aufwerten. – user unknown Jan 12 '15 at 6:41
  • Does not answer the question. – Carsten S Jan 12 '15 at 18:54

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