A2 Grammar: Clause Structure and Word Order

A2 Grammar: Clause Structure and Word Order

Grammar: Clause Structure and Word Order

Basic Word Order

  • German word order follows the general rule Subject - Verb - Time - Manner - Place (S-V-T-M-P).
  • The verb is always second idea in a statement sentence. For example: “Ich gehe jeden Tag (Time) mit meinem Hund (Manner) im Park (Place) spazieren”.


  • Coordinating conjunctions (und, aber, oder, denn, sondern) do not affect the word order.
  • Subordinating conjunctions (weil, dass, obwohl, als etc.) send the verb to the end of the clause. For example: “Ich weiß, dass du gestern nach Berlin gefahren bist”.

Question Word Order

  • In questions, the verb usually comes before the subject. For example: “Hast du das Buch gelesen?”.
  • Question words (wer, was, wann, wo, warum, wie) typically come at the beginning of a question. For example: “Was machst du heute?”

Inverted Word Order

  • The German sentence structure can be inverted to emphasize a part of the sentence other than the subject.
  • For instance, “Zum Frühstück esse ich Toast” (For breakfast, I eat toast) emphasizes that the action is taking place at breakfast time.

Dependent Clauses and Infinitives

  • In dependent clauses introduced by subordinating conjunctions, the verb usually goes to the end. Example: “Er sagt, dass er arbeiten will”.
  • When a verb is preceded by an infinitive or a participle, the auxiliary verb is always at the end of the sentence.

Cases and Prepositions

  • The case of each noun may be determined by its function in the sentence or a preceding preposition.

By understanding these key aspects, you will develop a deeper understanding of German clause structure and word order, which is crucial for effective communication in German. Keep revising!