0

I got to the point in German where I try to formulate longer sentences. I know I have to put the details in the following order: time, manner and place.

Would the following two sentences be correct?

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr mit dem Bus mit meinen Freund zur Schule gehe ich.

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr mit dem Bus gehe ich mit meinen Freund zur Schule.

5
  • Frankly yes, they are not completely wrong, but the style is so bad I would judge it as broken (1) or a foreign dialect (2). And as a translation error, we do not go with bus, we fare ("ich fahre (mit dem Bus)").
    – vectory
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 19:38
  • @vectory I see, if I say "...fahre ich" would the sentences make more sense and be correct from a TMP perspective?
    – Stefan
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 19:41
  • 1
    I'd concentrate on verb placement before TMP, which is really more of a guideline than a rule. So I think a better start would be "Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr gehe ich ... ."
    – RDBury
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 19:57
  • 1
    mit dem Bus gehen is unidiomatic. It must be mit dem Bus fahren.
    – RHa
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 21:55
  • More important thatn time, manner and place is the placement of the verb, and this is clearly wrong.
    – RHa
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 21:57

3 Answers 3

4

Let us first correct the grammar before diving into order of objects/adverbials.

Both your sentences are wrong, although the first one is "more wrong" than the second. You see, German is a V2-language. That means, no matter what, in main sentences ("Hauptsätze") the Verb has to go to second place (I have corrected "meinen" zu "meinem", probably just a typo):

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr (first position, Adverbial)
gehe (second position, Verb)
ich (Subjekt, (Pro-)Nomen)
mit meinem Freund zur Schule. (rest of sentence)

This is the sentence in grammatically correct form. Notice, that any other part of the sentence (including the Subjekt) could also be in first position, the only thing never changing is the position of the Verb:

Ich gehe jeden Montag um 11 Uhr mit meinem Freund zur Schule.
Mit meinem Freund gehe ich jeden Montag um 11 Uhr zur Schule.
Zur Schule gehen jeden Montag um 11 Uhr ich und mein Freund.

etc.. Putting something in front (or in last position) puts emphasis on this part. That means, for instance this:

Zur Schule gehen jeden Montag um 11 Uhr ich und mein Freund.

stresses the fact that you go to school and not somewhere else and also that you and your friend go together and not each of you alone.

But - now we come back to the "time, manner, place" - there is something like a "neutral position" where nothing is especially emphasized. This is the SV-form with all the specifics (Objekte, Adverbiale, ...) put behind:

(Ich gehe) [=>core part of the main sentence] (jeden Montag um 11 Uhr)[=>time] (mit meinem Freund)[=>manner] (zur Schule)[=>place).

You probably have noticed that I cut out "mit dem Bus" up to now. The reason is that "go (by ...)" in English is used for using any means of transportation whereas in German we use different words for this:

I go by plane. (Ich fliege mit dem Flugzeug.)
I go by ship. (Ich fahre/segle mit dem Schiff.)
I go by car. (Ich fahre mit dem Auto.)
I walk. (Ich gehe.)
I go by bus. (Ich fahre mit dem Bus.)

So, to add final polish to the sentence:

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr fahre ich mit dem Bus mit meinem Freund zur Schule.

But this is weird because of the two consecutive "mit ...". Hence, a last twist, we make your friend part of the Subjekt:

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr fahren mein Freund und ich mit dem Bus zur Schule.

This will put some emphasis on the fact that it happens every Monday at 11 o'clock (and not on any other time or irregularly) because of the deviation from the "neutral" word order.

Addendum: as @Tode correctly pointed out in his comment in German it is considered rude to put oneself anywhere else than in last place: it is i.e. "mein Freund und ich", not "ich und mein Freund", although, see above, one could reverse that purposefully to put emphasis on the fact:

Am Montag gehen ich und mein Freund (, nicht du und mein Freund).

Reversing implies already what I added in brackets.

2
  • 1
    Just one little comment: In Germany it is often seen as rude to mention yourself before others (Der Esel nennt sich immer zuerst), so I would switch "ich" and "mein Freund" around to name the friend first like you did in your last example. So: Not "Ich und mein Freund gehen..." but "Mein Freund und ich gehen..."
    – Tode
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 6:40
  • @Tode: you are right, see my last sentence example. Before I tried to do "one step after the other".
    – bakunin
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 7:26
2

Both of your solutions have

  • time: jeden Montag um 11 Uhr
  • manner: mit dem Bus, mit meinem Freund
  • place: zur Schule

in the most natural order. You can rearrange them to stress certain aspects, e.g. putting "Mit dem Bus" first.

Both are grammatically wrong (but comprehensible, as others have said in their comments) though because the verb needs to be in the second position, all other elements are more flexible. So it could be:

Ich fahre jeden Montag um 11 ...

Jeden Montag um 11 Uhr fahre ich mit dem Bus ...

Mit dem Bus fahre ich jeden Montag ...

0

There is no fixed rule in German that prescribes an order "time - manner - place", especially because time and place can each have different functions. For example: time and place always come early if they describe the general setting in which something takes place (this is why "every Monday" comes first in your example, not just because it is "time"). But when time or place information is required by a verb, it rather comes late in the clause. In your example, this is the case with "zur Schule (fahren)". It comes last not because it is "place" but because it belongs to the verb very narrowly. Actually, that one is about "direction" not just place, that's a special group that is always close to the verb.

Place in the function of a setting would always come first, as in English, like "In Germany, we do it differently" -- as opposed to "He lives in Germany".

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.