2

Also ich habe es geschafft

or

Also habe ich es geschafft

To me the second one sounds more like a question. And first one would be a more "spoken way".

2

Also has a different meaning in those cases. The first one translates to: well, I made it. The Second one: therefore I made it.

2

The first sentence is only valid if also is refers to ich:

Also ich habe es geschafft.

which roughly means "I made it (but maybe others did not)."

This way, Also and ich together are the first part of the sentence, followed by the verb. Otherwise, the verb-second rule would be violated.

In the second sentence, also applies to the statement as a whole. Here, also is the first part of the sentence, followed by the verb.

6
  • I agree, but also is an attribute? Also das würde mich sehr wundern Oct 16 at 7:45
  • 1
    It's not an adjective. I changed the wording to avoid this misunderstanding.
    – RHa
    Oct 16 at 7:49
  • also in the first sentence is a constituent separate from the subject ich, and it functions as a sentential adverb – it refers and modifies the whole sentence. I'm not fully fluent with German grammatical terminology, but if I remember correctly, the slot that is occupied by also is the "Vorvorfeld" to distinguish it from the slot "Vorfeld" that precedes the verb. The "Vorvorfeld" isn't considered a violation of verb-second word order .
    – Schmuddi
    Oct 17 at 8:48
  • @Schmuddi I disagree. "Zero-position" works with a word like denn, but not with also.
    – RHa
    Oct 17 at 9:11
  • What's the justification for your claim that also and ich form a single constituent that's in the "Vorfeld", then? The usual criteria of constituents (e.g. mobility, coordination, syntactic independence) won't work on [also ich].
    – Schmuddi
    Oct 17 at 9:17
1

As a conjunctive adverb with a consecutive meaning, similar to folglich or deshalb, also can appear in the first position of declarative sentences.

Ich denke, also bin ich.
I think, therefore I am.

Die Arbeit hat mir nicht gefallen, also habe ich gekündigt.
I didn't like the work, so I quit.

Es nicht zu schaffen, war keine Option. Also habe ich es geschafft.
Not making it wasn't an option. Therefore, I made it.

The last example can be used as a 'declarative question', spoken with a rising intonation. Imaging a teacher telling a student how many points he got in the exam and the student being unsure whether he passed or not:

Also habe ich es geschafft?
So I made it?

In its other uses, also precedes the sentence and doesn't change its meaning. It is used as a marker of initiating or continuing an utterance.

Also, gehen wir jetzt?
So, are we leaving now?

Also zumindest ich habe es geschafft, aber ich weiß nicht, ob die anderen es auch geschafft haben.
Well, at least I made it, but I don't know whether the others did, too.

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