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I often want to say something like:

Ich habe Übungen gemacht. Täglich.

where I think to add täglich after finishing the first sentence. What’s the correct way to handle this in conversation? The addition might also contain a preposition such as mit meinem Freund.

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  • You would do that in any language. Forgotten something in the sentence before? Just add it. Unless you’re giving a speach, you don’t have to have a well-formulated text ;) – Jan Jun 24 '15 at 14:02
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Ich habe Übungen gemacht. Täglich.

Is totally valid in a general conversation. I'd even go that far and say that people will find it more awkward if you are trying to formulate everything you say as a sentence.

You can add further phrases just the same:

Ich habe Übungen gemacht. Täglich. Mit einem Freund.

Of course, at some point this starts to sound like you are babbling single words, instead of talking. You might want to connect all the additional thoughts into one single additional group of words, with only a little pause inbetween (indicated by ",")

Ich habe Übungen gemacht. Täglich, mit einem Freund.

This way, a listener who might doubt the truthfulness of your single first sentence could be convinced by these two additions that strengthen the first sentence.


There's one example quote from a movie that just came to my mind:

Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! With a box of scraps!

As you can see, adding more words after a sentence is a valid thing to put more emphasize on the sentence and its true meaning.

Admittedly, this line is from a movie scene and the words are spoken in rage, which is probably not you intended use case. Anyway, the example shows that this is a valid thing to do in spoken language.

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  • 2
    Also note how the last example isn't even a complete sentence (no verb). This is fine for spoken language, but you'd want to avoid it in writing. – Robert Jun 24 '15 at 18:49
  • Yes, good point from @Robert: this is not the right choice for formal letters, applications, etc. In that regard you also want to try to avoid it in formal conversations, like an interview for a job. In literature, it can be used as an artistic way of writing in a stream of consciousness for example. The intention is to illustrate the informal nature of the words unbound from the general rule of using sentences or being emotionally unable to follow these rules as can be seen in the movie quote. – null Jun 24 '15 at 19:06
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In spoken language, just adding the information after a little pause is fine. Alternatively, you can use und zwar to connect the sentences:

Ich habe Übungen gemacht – täglich.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht – mit einem Freund.

Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar mit einem Freund.

In written language, both variants would put a strong emphasis on the added information; but then you rarely encounter this problem in written language. In spoken language, the same may happen if you are not careful with your stress. To avoid this, deemphasise the last part by speaking it less loud and slow than the rest of the sentence. You can also support the fact that the last part is an addendum with gestures.

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  • Written language: Chat and the like. Of course, the full stop is then already typed and can't be replaced by a - or comma. – user unknown Jun 25 '15 at 1:34
  • @userunknown: In chat and similar, distinguishing whether the addition is to be emphasised or something that was just forgotten is quite simple: In the latter case, it is a separate message; in the former case, it isn’t. – Wrzlprmft Jun 25 '15 at 6:12
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Possible is:

Täglich habe ich Übungen gemacht.
Ich habe täglich Übungen gemacht.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich.

If you want do add that you did it with a friend:

Täglich haben ich und ein Freund Übungen gemacht.
Täglich habe ich mit einem Freund Übungen gemacht.
Täglich habe ich Übungen mit einem Freund gemacht.

Ich und ein Freund haben täglich Übungen gemacht.
Ich habe mit einem Freund täglich Übungen gemacht.
Ich habe täglich mit einem Freund Übungen gemacht.
Ich habe täglich Übungen mit einem Freund gemacht.

Ich und ein Freund haben Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich.
Ich habe mit einem Freund Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich.
Ich habe Übungen mit einem Freund gemacht, und zwar täglich.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar mit einem Freund und täglich.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich mit einem Freund.
Ich habe Übungen gemacht, und zwar täglich und mit einem Freund.

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    Of all these options, only the one with und zwar works if you think of adding the information after already having said the rest of the sentence. – Wrzlprmft Jun 24 '15 at 12:47

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