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I've listened to the song 'Oh Love' by Mark Forster for quite a while now and everytime I've heard it, this has always nibbled at me:

Geht's um nächste Schritte gehen,

Bin ich wie ein altes Pferd,

I cannot understand why bin and geht are being placed first. Is it something that can be done stylistically in music/poetry/etc. or is this a valid construction in spoken German? The only thing I can assume is that perhaps a word is being missed out (e.g. aber?), but since this happens four times in the song I'm not certain at all and can't find anything about this anywhere.

Edit: I am fairly certain these are not question statements, just to clarify.

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This is a short form of the sentence

Wenn es ums nächste Schritte gehen geht,

(dann) bin ich wie ein altes Pferd.

(Probably meaning, that he does not want to or is not able to take the next steps or many steps)

Note that dann in the sentence can be omitted.

You can read about it here where it says

Eine ungewöhnliche Variante eines Bedingungssatzes entsteht durch das Weglassen von wenn und dem Wechsel des Verbs in die Position 1 des Satzes. In der gesprochenen Sprache wird diese Variante selten benutzt.

Meaning a peculiar way to form a conditional clause is to omit wenn and switch the verb's position to the beginning of the sentence. Also, it says that this is not typical in spoken language.


So for the rest of the song this would mean

Geht's um das was ich fühl Bin ich wie n' Wachsoldat

Wenn es um das geht, was ich fühl, (dann) bin ich wie n Wachsoldat

Geht's um das was ich denk Bin ich wie'n Pixelbild

Wenn es umd das geht, was ich denk, (dann) bin ich wie n Pixelbild

Geht's um das was wir haben Bin ich wie'n verwöhntes Kind

Wenn es um das geht, was wir haben, (dann) bin ich wie n verwöhntes Kind


Here is a link I found about the topic in English. It is briefly explained under the heading "Other forms of "if-then" clauses".

  • Ahhhhh right. I was aware in the past of being able to omit 'wenn' and put the verb first, but I didn't think that was what was happening here (since I was focusing so much on the 'bin' clause rather than the 'geht' clause). Thank you so much for your help :) – user21483 Dec 2 '16 at 12:11
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    because you asked so nicely I shall ;) – user21483 Dec 2 '16 at 12:17

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