Sentence structure in German: the simple and extended sentence -

Sentence structure in German: the simple and extended sentence

Share it!

Sentence structure in German: the simple and extended sentence


  • The simple statement in German: subject – verb – object
  • The expanded sentence
  • The structure of the German sentence
  • Sentence order of German adverbs

A complete sentence consists of several elements: subjects, verbs, objects. The verb is decisive in German sentences, because the verb determines how many additions (objects or subordinate clauses) are required and in which case they must appear.

In German, as in other languages, you can differentiate between different types of sentences :

  • Mit einem Aussagesatz werden Begebenheiten berichtet und Feststellungen getroffen (Er ging in den Zoo.)

With a statement, incidents are reported and finds are made (he went to the zoo).

  • Imperativsätze sind befehlende oder verbietende Aufforderungen (Räume endlich dein Zimmer auf!)

Imperative sentences are orders of command or prohibition (finally clean your room!)

  • Fragesätze verlangen nach einer Antwort. Dabei kann es sich um eine Ergänzungsfrage (Warum hast du keinen Hunger?) Oder um eine Entscheidungsfrage (Hast du Hunger?) Handeln

The questions ask for an answer. This can be a supplemental question (Why aren’t you hungry?) Or a decision question (Are you hungry?)

  • Das Satzzeichen zeigt Ihnen, ob es sich um einen Aussagesatz, einen Fragesatz oder um einen Ausrufesatz handelt.

The punctuation mark shows you whether it is a propositional sentence , a question mark, or an exclamation point.

There are declarations that consist of only two or three words , but other declarations are supplemented by subordinate clause constructions.

The simple statement in German: subject – verb – object

In a statement, the verb always comes second.

If the verb consists of several parts , for example, in separable verbs einkaufen, anfangen (buy, begin) or in verb constructions that are necessary for different tenses ich werde laufen, du bist gelaufen (I will run, you ran), the conjugate part is in the second position and the rest at the end of the sentence.

Remember this basic order:

  • Subjekt konjugierter Verbteil Objekt (nicht konjugierter Verbteil)

Subject part of the conjugated verb Object (part of the unconjugated verb).

The subject is the object of the sentence . It is in nominative. You can answer the topic with the question wer? oder was? “who? or what?”.

The ending of a sentence is called an object. An object is in the case Genitiv, Dativ oder Akkusativ (genitive, dative or accusative).

The object can be omitted for very short sentences. So the sentence consists only of a subject and a verb.


  • Das Kind spielt.

(the kid is playing)

  • Sie lacht.

(She laughs).


Without subject and verb it is not a sentence in German! These two items should appear.

Most German verbs, however, need at least one object to form a correct sentence. In sentences with a single object, this is usually in the accusative.

The exceptions to this are objects that require a preposition that requires a different case.

Examples of simple sentences in German with subject, verb and object:

  • Ich spiele Karten .

I play cards.

  • Susanne kauft Gemüse und Obst ein .

Susanne buys vegetables and fruits.

  • Martin hat den Bus verpasst .

Martin has missed the bus.

  • Sie wird das Buch lesen.

She is going to read the book.

The expanded sentence

A simple sentence in German consists of at least two elements . A subject and a verb.

The verb is the most important element in a sentence. The verb is used to determine how many objects the sentence should be added to . In this article you will learn about the structure of sentences in German that consist of more than three elements (subject, verb and object).

The structure of the German sentence :

Sentences with two objects . Most sentences consist not only of subject, verb, and object, but of various elements. The number of objects depends on the verb, many verbs require two objects. One is usually in the accusative, the other in the dative. A set with two objects is basically structured as follows:

  • Subjekt konjugierter Verbteil indirektes Objekt direktes Objekt (nicht konjugierter Verbteil) 

Subject part of the conjugated verb indirect object direct object (part of the unconjugated verb)

The subject is the object of the sentence . It is usually in the nominative wer “oder„ was (“who” or “what”?) And it appears first in the sentence.

The verb is in second place . If the verb consists of two parts, the part of the conjugated verb is in the second position, the part of the unconjugated verb at the end of the sentence.

The indirect object also becomes the dative object (“who?”) . In sentences with two objects, the person is usually in the dative, that is, the indirect object and the thing in the accusative (direct object).

Examples of sentences with two objects:

  • Er verspricht ihr ein schönes Leben.

It promises you a good life.

  • Ihr Garten bereitet ihr Freude.

Enjoy your garden.

  • Die Sonne scheint mir ins Gesicht.

The sun is shining on my face.

Sentence order of German adverbs

Have you already dealt with German adverbs? So you know that the adverb is in the first position of a sentence or in the middle of the sentence . If the adverb is in the first position, the sentence structure shown above changes. The subject is written after the verb. The verb remains in the second position. Then come the objects.

Examples of sentences with adverbs at the beginning of the sentence:

  • Heute geht Johannes mit Susanne in die Stadt.

Today Johannes is going to town with Susanne.

  • Danach werde ich mir ein Eis kaufen.

Then I’ll buy an ice cream.

Adverbs can also be found in the Mittelfeld sentence . The information usually follows a certain sequence:

  • Temporaladverb (wann?)

Temporal adverb (when?)

  • Kausaladverb (warum?)

Causal adverb (why?)

  • Modaladverb (wie?)

Modal adverb (how?)

  • Lokaladverb (wo? Wohin?)

Local adverb (where? Where?)

  • Johannes geht heute (wann?) In Mainz (wo?) Einkaufen .

Today (when?) Johannes goes shopping in Mainz (where?)

  • Susanne kauft sich (wem?) Wegen der Hitze (wem?) In der Eisdiele ein Eis (wo?).

Susanne buys (from whom?) because of the heat (from whom?) At the ice cream parlor (where?).

¡Déjanos unas estrellitas si te ha gustado el post!
Share it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Elige moneda