I want to build a Sentence with:

Julia - will - machen - einen Ausflug an den Bodensee - mit ihren Freunden

if Mit ihren Freunden is a Dativergänzung, then my sentence would be:

Julia will mit ihren Freunden einen Ausflug an den Bodensee machen.

or if Mit ihren Freunden isn’t a Dativergänzung, then my sentence would be:

Julia will einen Ausflug an den Bodensee mit ihren Freunden machen.

But how about TKML (temporal, kausal, modal, lokal)?
How should I enforce them?


I was sure that I had seen a question like this before somewhere but I can’t find it anymore, so here goes.

Mit ihren Freunden is a Dativergänzung. However, both of your versions are correct. And forget about enforcing TKML.

Why? Because German is extremely free and flexible in its word order. The only fixed bits in sentences are the Verbklammer — that is, the finite verb being in second position in main clauses and any remaining parts of the verb (non-finite) at the end. So you get:

Position 1 - will (finite verb) - everything else - machen (infinite part of the verb)

Position 1 is traditionally filled with the fragment you want to emphasise most — often this is the subject, Julia in this case. But it could also be einen Ausflug, an den Bodensee or mit ihren Freunden. In fact, it could even be einen Ausflug an den Bodensee. Or einen Ausflug mit ihren Freunden an den Bodensee, because they somehow belong together.

Everything that is not in position 1 needs to be moved between the two halfs of the Verbklammer. The order of these fragments is, once again, not fixed. There might be some orders used more frequently than others, but only very few if any that would be considered wrong.

Since you have four different fragments, you can get 24 different possible sentences. Forgive me for not listing them all here.

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    Sorry for already taking away your comment about forgetting TKML, Emanuel ;) – Jan Jun 17 '15 at 20:56
  • Still the first version sounds more natural. – Carsten S Jun 17 '15 at 22:12
  • @CarstenSchultz But what if Lake Constance is the new information? – Jan Jun 17 '15 at 22:19
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    Second thing... the version with "Ich will mit meinen... einen machen." is by far the most natural sounding order for mainly two reasons: 1) it is "einen Ausflug", not "den". The "Ausflug" is new information (Rhema) and the news in a sentence is usually placed on the right. 2) the "Ausflug" is the direct object for "machen" so it s very very defining for the verb. The combination "Ausflug" machen even has somewhat of a phrasal verb feel. The "Ausflug" is definitely pulled to the right very strongly because of the strong connection to the verb.... – Emanuel Jun 17 '15 at 23:26
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    ... so, if you want to change the order you have to have a very good reason for it. Or in other words, the tension you insert has to be absorbed somewhere, otherwise the sentence will sound odd. Here's a context in which the other order would fit: "Julia will einen Ausflug an den Bodensee mit ihren Freunden machen und eine Woche später einen mit der Firma." Now the persons she is doing it with are the main information and thus feel right on the far right. Still, it's somewhat contrived. Change "einen Ausflug" zu "den Ausflug" though and the dynamics completely change. – Emanuel Jun 17 '15 at 23:29

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