40 votes

Word order in German. Shouldn't Duolingo accept this answer?

The word order Ich schlafe im Auto in meiner Pause. sounds odd to me as a native speaker. The reason is that if time and place are placed after the verb, time comes first. This rule applies if there ...
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26 votes
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What is the difference between "Ich weiß nicht" and "Das weiß ich nicht"?

The phrase Ich weiß nicht. is used in colloquial language to express uncertainty, doubt and disagreement, usually when asked for an opinion on something. For example, I wouldn't be surprised to ...
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  • 4,758
22 votes
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Word order in German. Shouldn't Duolingo accept this answer?

Your sentence Ich schlafe im Auto in meiner Pause. is totally fine. I really don't know, why Duolingo would flag it as wrong. You're right: there is nothing wrong with your word order since German ...
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  • 7,395
20 votes
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What accounts for this word order?

Ich werde tun is incorrect because there is an object missing. A way to correct this is to add a prounoun, for example a das: Das werde ich tun. Now, in spoken German it is possible to omit a ...
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  • 13.4k
16 votes
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What's the meaning of "Man weiß halt gefühlt nichts"?

I'm just a native speaker, I'll try: The former. Although I would translate it to "It's like one knows nothing". For the sake of simplicity, we can ignore "halt" (simply). "...
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  • 196
15 votes
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Order of words in a question: "Kann mir jemand..."

The secret is: Pronoun before noun Kann Peter Klaus helfen? Normal word order. Peter is subject, Klaus is object, so Peter helps Klaus. Kannst du Klaus helfen? Still normal word order. ...
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  • 38.4k
15 votes

Difference between two possibilities for a warning label

The typical German instruction manual idiom would be: Nur bei Stillstand des Fahrzeugs zurücksetzen. Your first variant wenn angehalten would imply to a German reader that the tripmeter itself had ...
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14 votes

What's the meaning of "Man weiß halt gefühlt nichts"?

Maybe you've heard about the gefühlte Temperatur, or in English the apparent temperature: The temperature that humans perceive can be different from the temperature objectively measured by a ...
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13 votes
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Verb as first position in simple sentences

The German Wikipedia article on Verberststellung (that is positioning of the verb before the subject) gives three examples for this syntactical order in subordinate clauses: Konditionalsatz: Hätte ...
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  • 7,433
13 votes

Is putting an adverbial after the non-finite verb okay?

Neither sentence is wrong. German word order is rather flexible, and while there is a tendency to have the second part of a split verb at the end, it isn't always the case. Possible reasons for ...
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  • 19.5k
13 votes

Is putting an adverbial after the non-finite verb okay?

The sentence is correct. While it is much more common to have the verb at the end, in this particular case there is an emphasis on the need to return, while the destination is rather a side ...
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  • 18.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Word order for "los" in "Was ist denn hier los?"

los is a regular adjective meaning off (in the sense of unleashed or detached). The basic idiomatic expression using los is the following sentence: Etwas ist los. Something is unleashed/moving (...
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  • 2,493
12 votes
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"gern" and "nicht gern" position

Think differently: It's not about placing gern "on either side" of the object, the basic rule is that adverbs that modify other parts of the sentence ("nicht", "auch", ...) are placed directly in ...
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  • 6,956
12 votes
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When does “haben” push “nicht” to the end of the sentence?

What Thorsten Link wrote is correct, but I like to give another example on how to place the nicht. I give a bit too literal translations to emphasize it. (And a note on Examen: it's Prüfung, always. ...
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  • 46.4k
12 votes
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Separable verbs: “hängt von … ab” or “hängt ab von …”

This grammar feature is called prepositional phrase in the Nachfeld, and it's not restricted to separable verbs (though it's easier to notice with separable verbs). Basically, when you have a long ...
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  • 6,956
12 votes

“Ich sah fünf Flugzeuge abheben.” – How to transform to the perfect tense?

Transforming the following sentence: Ich sah fünf Flugzeuge abheben. to perfect yields: Ich habe fünf Flugzeuge abheben sehen. The rule is that if a perfect participle (Partizip II) follows an ...
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  • 13.4k
12 votes

Can this word order be rearranged?

The idea of keeping the finite verb and participles/infinitives together does not apply here, as the infinitive clause does not belong closely to the finite verb. It's an object. Dann bekam er die ...
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  • 46.4k
12 votes

Why is the verb in 3rd position?

The verb is still in second position. Sogar is a particle which modifies the subsequent part of the sentence. So it should be regarded as [Sogar meine Tante] [hatte] [einen Ausdruck]. This is the ...
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  • 16.4k
11 votes
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Confusing word order and cases in a line from the Spiegel

Welcome to the wonderful German world of free word order and inserted relative clauses! So perfect that not even Germans do it right all the time (even if they're in the Spiegel). in dem Wladimir ...
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  • 38.1k
11 votes
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Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt

To be precise, "Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt" doesn't translate to "The very hungry caterpillar". The English title is the original one, and the German one is a translation. I'd say the translator ...
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  • 18.8k
10 votes
Accepted

When to use “ist es” and when “es ist”?

In a German "Hauptsatz" (main clause), the flexed verb goes in the second position – counting grammatical units, not words. Both of your examples follow this pattern: [Es] [ist] [eine Katze]. ...
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  • 23.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Position of “etwas” in “Kann ich in Berlin etwas kaufen?”

Both word orders are correct and only slightly differ in emphasis: Whatever you put first in this case, is slightly more focussed by the question (at least that’s my impression, even native speakers ...
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  • 21.5k
10 votes
Accepted

Ist »,also ,« schechter Schreibstil?

Die Kommas gehören unabhängig von der Wortstellung dort nicht hin. Folgende Möglichkeiten: Dir hat der neue Film also nicht gefallen? Also hat dir der neue Film nicht gefallen? Der neue Film hat dir ...
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  • 266
10 votes
Accepted

Tensed verb preceding infinitive verb in modal relative clauses?

The reason they put the sentence in this order is a pun with a very common German proverb of unknown origin: Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen. The word order was ...
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  • 69.8k
10 votes

Bevorzugte Reihenfolge bei Adjektiven

Es gibt zwei Sorten von Adjektivreihungen: gleichwertige und ungleichwertige. Gleichwertige Adjektive sind solche, die unabhängig voneinander verwendet werden können. Keines bildet mit dem Substantiv ...
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  • 38.1k
10 votes
Accepted

"Es ist schön hier." What are the differences when changing only the word order

The difference is not in meaning, but in emphasis. Schön ist es hier = "Wow, nice place!" This emphasizes the pleasantness of the place as opposed to other qualities, such as expensiveness of a ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Where should I use "bitte" in imperative sentences?

(1) Bitte mach das Fenster zu! / Bitte füll das Formular aus! (2) Mach bitte das Fenster zu! / Füll bitte das Formular aus! (3) Mach das Fenster bitte zu! / Füll das Formular bitte aus! All are ...
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  • 15k
10 votes

Order of locations?

Same order. Usually one would not include the state, like "Heidelberg, Germany", because we don't have that many city names that exist multiple times. But if they do, you would write it in brackets: ...
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  • 2,236

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