Sentence construction: Statements

In a simple statement the conjugated verb has a fixed position. It is always in second position. The position of the subject is freer. It often comes at the beginning of the sentence, before the conjugated verb.

However, other parts of the sentence can also come at the beginning, in order to stress them. These are often details about time or place. Then the subject comes after the conjugated verb, i.e. in third position.

Example: Time detail: jetzt

 

An example of a statement with the subject at the beginning: Ich bin jetzt in Deutschland.An example of a statement with the time specification at the beginning: Jetzt bin ich in Deutschland.
Image: DW

 

Example: Place detail: in Frankreich*

 

An example of a statement with the subject at the beginning: Man isst in Frankreich viel Käse.An example of a statement with the location at the beginning: In Frankreich isst man viel Käse.
Image: DW

 

*In this case the place detail consists of two words. Since these two words belong together they stand together in first position. The verb comes in second position here too.

 

Sometimes other sentence parts also come in first position.

 

An example of a statement with the subject at the beginning: Man isst in Italien Pizza.An example of a statement with the location at the beginning:In Italien isst man Pizza.An example of a statement with the object at the beginning: Pizza isst man in Italien.
Image: DW