Questions and statements

Woher kommst du? – Ich komme aus Spanien.

Kommst du aus Italien? – Nein, ich komme aus Spanien.

 

W-questions

W-questions are asked when specific information is requested. These questions cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". The W-questions are so-called because the first word in the question usually begins with the letter W, e.g., Woher …? Wo …? Wie …? This is followed by the conjugated verb and the subject.

An example using the question word
Image: DW

Statements

In a simple statement, the conjugated verb is always in second position. The subject is often in first position.

An example of a statement using the subject,
Image: DW

Yes-no questions

These are so-called because they can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". Here the conjugated verb comes first. It is followed by the subject.

An example of a question using the verb,
Image: DW

This means that a yes-no question can be formed by switching the positions of the subject and the conjugated verb in a statement.

An example of how to construct a yes or no question from a statement: Ich wohne in Sevilla. - Wohnst du in Sevilla?
Image: DW
An example of how to construct a yes or no question from a statement: Berlin ist eine Stadt. - Ist Berlin eine Stadt?
Image: DW

Grammatical terms in German:

das Subjekt: The subject is the person or thing that is active or central in the sentence. The subject is also known as "der Satzgegenstand". It is usually a noun or pronoun.

die W-Frage: W-questions are open questions that cannot be answered with "yes" or "no". At the beginning of a W-question, there is a question word that usually begins with the letter W.

der Aussagesatz: In a statement, a fact is declared. The statement may give information or describe a situation.

die Satzfrage: This is a question that can be answered with "yes" or "no".