I don't know exactly when to put commas in sentences with infinitive. For example, I saw two sentences:

Mein Bruder schien im siebten Himmel zu sein.

Er hatte sogar vergessen, mir Geld zu schicken.

Why is the second sentence divided into parts by a comma whereas the first sentence isn't?

  • I don't believe the comma in the srcond sentence is necessary, where exactly did you get that from? Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 8:29
  • @πάνταῥεῖ I was reading a book with German stories
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 9:18
  • Could well be a simple typo. I am not aware of such grammar rule. Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 9:24
  • 3
    @πάνταῥεῖ I would say the latter sentence looks like a "erweiterter Infinitiv mit zu" that should get a comma in old orthography.
    – harper
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


The comma in the second sentence was mandatory in the old orthography before 1996 but is optional in the current orthography. It introduces an infinitive clause. See Duden D114-117.

The same would apply to the first sentence if it was not for the verb scheinen which is never used with comma (Duden D117).

For further reference, see here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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