3

Ich lerne Deutsch an meiner Uni, und ich habe eine Frage über word order.

I wrote the following sentence for a practice oral exam in our class:

Ich wollte heute Schnitzel essen, aber wir wohnen in den USA, und deshalb hat die Mensa sie nicht gehabt.

I was wondering if that last part is grammatically correct. What I wanted to say is "thus, the cafeteria did not have it," where "it" is "sie" (die Schnitzel).

I suspect I should have inverted the subject and instead written:

...und deshalb hat sie die Mensa nicht gehabt.

Would that have been the technically correct word order?

Danke!

  • You do realise that you are using Schnitzel in plural here, yes? I'm wondering because of your use of (singular) it in the English version, which is somewhat at odds with the (plural) sie in your German translation. – johnl Oct 19 '18 at 14:40
  • I guess I'm a bit confused. I was under the impression that you can substitute the pronoun "sie" for feminine nouns (die Schnitzel). – AleksandrH Oct 19 '18 at 16:01
  • AleksandrH, you can indeed. However, Schnitzel is actually not feminine but neuter (das Schnitzel), and the correct personal pronoun in accusative case singular is therefore es. Guess you may have been lucky here since Schnitzel just so happens to be the accusative plural as well, and sie just so happens to be the accusative plural for all genders. – johnl Oct 19 '18 at 16:38
4

As a native speaker both are perfectly understandable. The first one doesn't sound as good as the second one though. I've heard some other Germans use the first one. However I would stylistically prefer this solution:

Ich wollte heute Schnitzel essen, aber da wir in den USA wohnen, gab es in der Mensa keine.

Bitteschön!

  • Yes, the use of keine usually sounds better if you can express it in english also with a negation and any, like in thus, the cafeteria didn't have any. – Javatasse Oct 19 '18 at 15:23
5

[...] deshalb hat sie die Mensa nicht gehabt

and

[...] deshalb hat die Mensa sie nicht gehabt

are both correct.

The word order of "sie" and "die Mensa" doesn't matter in this case.


However the whole sentence sounds a little awkward.

Ich wollte heute Schnitzel essen, aber wir wohnen in den USA und deshalb gab es in der Mensa keins / keine.

is what you would normally hear.


As far as word order is concerned, these two links might be of interest for you:

http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Wortstellung/Stellungsfeld/Mittelfeld/Pronomen.html

http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Wortstellung/Stellungsfeld/Mittelfeld/Subjekt.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.