Word order when stating a time or place in German

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Word order when stating a time or place

Word order is variable in sentences containing information about a time or place. The time or place may be located:

  • after the verb:

Caroline hat manchmal schlechte Laune.

Caroline is sometimes in a bad mood.

Die Gäste schlafen im Hotel.

The guests were sleeping in the hotel.

  • before the verb:

Manchmal hat Caroline schlechte Laune.

Sometimes Caroline is in a bad mood.

Zuerst macht das Personal einen Plan.

First, the staff make a plan.

Um 8 Uhr gehe ich arbeiten.

At 8 o'clock, I go to work.

Remember:

  • The time always comes first if both the time and place are located after the verb.

Anna war im Oktober auf Hawaii.

Anna was in Hawaii in October.

  • You can add emphasis to the time/place by positioning it at the start of the sentence.

In drei Wochen fahren wir endlich in den Urlaub.

In three weeks we are finally going on vacation.


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