When there are particles, reflexive verbs with prepositions and negation how are the words in a sentence is formed? Also lets assume that both the place and the time is stated in the same sentence. Is there a particular rule, as a novice German learner I confuse it a lot?

  • Oh! If one could just answer this question life would be so easy. Unfortunately there is not a (finite size) answer. This previous question should help you with a tiny part of the answer, though. Welcome, by the way.
    – c.p.
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 17:09
  • @c.p. Well thanks for the guidance I will look it up.
    – Vesnog
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


No there's not one rule. There's a bunch of tendencies that are more or less robust. But as soon as it comes to the negative and to where to put place, time, and objects it also depends on what form these elements have. A "place-pronoun" will likely have a different position than its spelled out counter part.

Ich treffe mich mit Maria im Park. (natural)
Ich treffe mich mit Maria da. (less natural)

You need to get a feel for this. As a novice learner you cannot expect to get everything correct. It's simply impossible. If you want a detailed look on word order, you can check out the mini series on my blog.

  • Emanuel your blog is great and as far as I understood apart from a few no-no's various permutations are possible. Therefore as long as I know obvious mistakes and avoid them I should be fine, should I not?
    – Vesnog
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:25
  • @Vesnog... well, the thing is, that most orders you can come up with do work... but if the order is not the default then you're creating emphasis. If you write "Ich habe ein Buch heute gekauft." that only makes sense if you have a good reason to put so much focus on "heute". It's like writing "I bought a book TODAY." If such a reason isn't there (in the context) then people reading it will just file it under word order mistake... at least when they know that you're not a native speaker. You really need to get a feel for it. But I think clinging to strict rules gets in the way of that.
    – Emanuel
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 20:51

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