Sie besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung, nehme ich an?

I assume it's not the kind of literal question "Do i assume?". So what's going on, is there something omitted before the verb? THX

  • 1
    "Ich nehme an, Sie besorgen sich ihre Ausrüstung". The second part is called a "Verbzweitnebensatz". It is NOT a main clause, but a secondary clause that looks like a main clause. You encounter them in a few places. By "main clause" I mean typical declarative ones with verb at second position. Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 6:19
  • are these Verbzweitnebensätze only dass-omitted clauses?
    – Srmuiel
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 8:49
  • @srmuil I don't know much about them, and they are a bit complicated, but it is not an omission, simply because the verbs are in different positions. Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 11:51
  • well, that's what Hammer's German Grammar calls them at 17.2.1(b) - "The conjunction dass can sometimes be omitted, and the subordinate clause then has the order of a main clause..."
    – Srmuiel
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 11:53
  • @srmuil Okay, that is not how I understand "omission", I understand omission as leaving out e.g. "that" in a "that"-clause. Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 12:39

3 Answers 3


It's to presume.

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

Doktor Livingstone, nehme ich an?

The part

Sie besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung, …

is a dependent clause and the object of annehmen. This is set as the topic of the second (the actual) main clause.

Yep. In German, main clauses can be used as dependent clauses.

Ich nehme an, dass Sie sich sich Ihre Ausrüstung besorgen.

Ich nehme an, Sie besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung.

The meaning is the same. The nice part of this is that you can specify a topic in the "dependent main" clause:

Ich nehme an, Ihre Ausrüstung besorgen Sie sich.

Oh, and yes, it may still be the topic of the outer clause.

Ihre Ausrüstung besorgen Sie sich, nehme ich an.

  • that's sooooo interesting.... well I'm glad I didn't assume it was just an omission as I didn't know about this fact.
    – Srmuiel
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:16
  • In general, this feature is limited to assumptions and hearsay. You may either use a verb as annehmen, glauben, scheinen, heißen etc and/or put the "dependent main" clause in Konjunktiv I mood.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:22
  • Are you saying this is a dass omitted clause? I know that if you use a noun clause (so a dass clause) as the subject of a verb the verb has to have third person singular endings. Is it not the case with dass omitted clauses?
    – Srmuiel
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:23
  • With annehmen, the thing you presume is its accusative object. With heißen it is its predicative. I've yet to find a verb that allows this which may take a subject clause.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:27
  • E.g. Ihre Ausrüstung besorgen Sie sich selbst, hieß die Anweisung gestern noch.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:28

The verb is not in first position. It is in second position.

The subclause "Sie besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung" is the first part of the sentence. It is the object of the verb nehme .. an, therefore it is called an Objektsatz in German.

  • 1
    Objektsätze sind Nebensätze
    – Srmuiel
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 23:00
  • 1
    Ich habe nichts anderes behauptet.
    – RHa
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 8:23

The easiest way to think about these types of sentences is to view the final phrase with the verb in first position as parenthetical.

Sie besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung (nehme ich an)?
Sie besorgen sich (nehme ich an) Ihre Ausrüstung?
Sie (nehme ich an) besorgen sich Ihre Ausrüstung?

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.