I am confused as to the placement of “noch” in the sentence : “Aber ich will noch nicht schlafen”. I’m aware the whole sentence means “but I don’t want to sleep yet” but putting “noch” in the middle confuses me as I don’t know the rule(s) as to why it is there, rather than the end of the sentence like it is in English.

Thank you for any help!

migrated from languagelearning.stackexchange.com Nov 6 at 15:49

This question came from our site for students, teachers, polyglots, and anyone interested in the techniques of second-language acquisition.

Adverbial placement in German can be tricky.

Am Sonntag trifft sie ihre Freundin.

Sie trifft am Sonntag ihre Freundin.

Sie trifft ihre Freundin am Sonntag.

These are all common. The difference is in the emphasis. The first item in the sentence gets most emphasis, the last second most.

Noch haben wir Zeit.

Wir haben noch Zeit.

Wir haben Zeit noch.

Most of those one-word adverbials cannot go to the end of such a short sentence. You can heal that, however:

Wir haben die Zeit noch.

That erratic feature of German seems more connected to rhythm than anything else. It also appears with lone pronouns at the end of the sentence.


Your example uses a modal verb phrase as the predicate, and those occupy the end of the sentence with their infinitive part already. This gives you the only options front and middle in any case.

Aber ich will noch nicht schlafen.

Aber noch will ich nicht schlafen.

Aber ich will am Sonntag nicht schlafen.

Aber am Sonntag will ich nicht schlafen.

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.