Could you please tell me what the difference between these two sentences is?

  1. Ich trinke so spät am Nachmittag keinen Kaffee.
  2. Ich trinke keinen Kaffee so spät am Nachmittag.

1 Answer 1


The difference in meaning is very slight, certainly no greater than between the English alternates "I don't drink in the afternoon"/"In the afternoon, I don't drink".

However, the second alternate is slightly marked (not really wrong, but notable) because such temporal adjuncts to the verb are supposed to go between the verb and its object. Not doing this emphasizes the adjunct and gives more of an impression that the time of day is the reason for not doing something.

Then again, the original word order already implies this, just not as strongly, so this difference is also not particularly big.

  • Thank you very much for your answer!
    – user47465
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 15:57

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