German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (2023)

Die Deutsche Wortstellung (the German word order) can bewilder German learners. Sometimes, it’s just like English; at other times, German sentence structure almost seems alien. Many people even compare it to the way Yoda speaks!

The word order in German sentences may not seem logical, at first. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. There’s definitely a rhyme and reason to German syntax, and we’re here to explain it.

In this article we’ll look at some of the rules that govern the most common German sentence structures. We’ll also break down a couple of real-life examples to help you see how German sentence structure works.

Finally, we’ll talk about a few ways you can practice with German sentence structure, so that it becomes second nature to you — instead of sounding like something from another planet.

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (1)

The basics of German sentence structure

German has well-recognized grammatical cases: The nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. Among other information, these cases tell you who (or what) is affected — directly or indirectly — by the action in the sentence.

As a result, German has a modest amount of flexibility about word order. So, you can sometimes move words around for emphasis.

Even so, German word order matters.

Sure, German conversation partners will appreciate the effort you’re making to learn their language. However, if your goal is to start sounding natural, then having your words in the wrong order won’t help you to sound like a native speaker. In the worst-case scenario, unusual word order could cause some misunderstandings.

Before we look at specific kinds of German sentences, here’s a quick grammar refresher — just in case you weren’t forced to diagram sentences in school:

(Video) German Sentence Structure Explained in 10 Minutes | Easy German 284

  • The subject is the word that’s doing the action in the sentence. It’s often a personal pronoun, like ich (I), du (you [singular informal]), er (he), or wir (we). In German, the subject is always in the Nominative case.
  • The verb, of course, is the “action word” — even if it’s something more passive, like sein (to be) or mögen (to like).
  • The direct object is the person, animal, or thing that’s getting acted upon — whatever gets heard, liked, written, eaten, etc. It will be in the Accusative case.
  • The indirect object is who- or whatever is the recipient of the direct object. It takes the Dative case in German.

Must-know tips about German word order

German word order largely depends on the type of sentence you’re building. Let’s look at a few common types of sentences and the word order you’d use for each.

We’ll keep it simple, mostly using beginner-level words and phrases.

Simple declarative sentences

These are the most basic types of sentences. Their word order is very much like what we’d use in English: Subject Verb Object.

Wirhörensie.We hear her.
ErmagKaten.He likes cats.
IchesseBrot.I eat bread.
Alexisteine Frau.Alex is a woman.
SieschreibtKinderbücher.She writes children’s books.

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (2)

German sentence order with indirect objects

What happens if we specify who or what is receiving the direct object? That’s where the indirect object comes in.

SubjectVerbIndirect Object PronounDirect ObjectTranslation
Ergibtihmden Kaffee.He gives him the coffee.

In this case, the direct object, der Kaffee (the coffee) — a common noun in the accusative case — goes at the end of the sentence. The indirect object, ihm (him), goes before the direct object, and right after the verb.

Even if we substituted the indirect object’s proper name, Ulrich, for ihm (him), the word order would stay the same:

SubjectVerbIndirect ObjectDirect Object (common noun)Translation
ErgibtUlrichden Kaffee.He gives Ulrich the coffee.

But let’s say we want to replace der Kaffee with ihn (it [accusative case, masculine]). That will change the word order:

SubjectVerbDirect Object PronounIndirect ObjectTranslation
ErgibtihnUlrich.He gives it to Ulrich.
Ergibtihnihm.He gives it to him.

Here, because we’re using a pronoun in place of der Kaffee, the direct object (which is now represented by ihn) goes before the indirect object. This is true whether we refer to the indirect object as Ulrich or ihm (him).

In both cases, this is fairly simple, because English has the same structure.

(Video) German Lesson [14] How to build German Sentence [Structure Explained](A1/ German for beginners) 2020

German sentences with negation

There are two basic ways to make a sentence negative in German: One is with nicht (not), and the other is with kein (not any). Both nicht and kein will have the same position in a sentence, which will vary depending on other words used in the sentence.

In the simplest example, a declarative sentence in the negative, you would have Subject Verb Negation, perhaps followed by an Object:

Ichlaufenicht.I do not walk.
ErmachtkeinEssen.He doesn’t make any food.

If you’re qualifying the verb further with an adverb, or using an adjective to describe a noun, it would go after the negation:

Durennstnichtschnell.You do not run quickly.
Die Jungensindnichtlaut.The boys are not noisy.

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (3)

Complex verbs in German sentence structure

Besides negation, there are a few things that can happen with German verbs to change the word order in the sentence.

Separable verbs

Some German verbs are “separable” — that is, when they’re used, they have prefixes that get removed and placed elsewhere in the sentence. This is true of verbs that start with prefixes like ab-, vor-, zu-, auf-, ein-, and zurück, among several other separable prefixes.

Generally, the main part of the conjugated verb will still go right after the subject, and the separable prefix will get tacked on to the end of the sentence:

SubjectVerbDirect ObjectVerb PrefixTranslation
Ichgebedas Buchzurück.I’m giving the book back.

If you were to add an indirect object, it would then go before the direct object, like so:

SubjectVerbIndirect ObjectDirect ObjectVerb PrefixTranslation
Ichgebedirdas Buchzurück.I’m giving the book back to you.
IchgebeHansdas Buchzurück.I’m giving the book back to Hans.

If you were to substitute es (it) for das Buch (the book), the sentence would then read:

SubjectVerbDirect Object PronounIndirect Object PronounVerb PrefixTranslation
Ichgebeesdirzurück.I’m giving it back to you.

The other parts of the sentence will stay in the same place, but the direct object pronoun now goes in front of the indirect object pronoun.

(Video) Learn German | Sentence Structure | Satzstruktur | Part 1 | German for beginners | A1 - Lesson 9

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (4)

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Verbs with auxiliaries

Some German sentences use a main verb with an auxiliary verb to express an idea. The auxiliary verb is conjugated; the primary verb is in the infinitive or past participle.

It’s like in English when we say, “I’m going to walk home,” or “He had walked home.” In these examples, “going” (to go) and “had” (to have) are the auxiliary verbs. “To walk” is the main verb in both cases.

In German, the conjugated auxiliary verb would be in the second position in the sentence, and the infinitive or past participle would go to the end of the sentence:

SubjectAuxiliary VerbDirect ObjectPast Participle / InfinitiveTranslation
Siehabeneinen Apfelkuchengebacken.They have baked an apple cake.
Ichwerdeihren Apfelkuchenessen.I will eat their apple cake.

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (6)

Verbs with adverbs

If you qualify the verb with an adverb, the adverb will go directly after the verb, before the object:

SubjectVerbAdverbDirect ObjectTranslation
IchessewiederGemüse.I’m eating vegetables again.

Conjunctions and German word order

Depending on which conjunction you use to introduce a clause, the word order can change.

If you’re using a coordinating conjunction, you’ll follow the regular Subject Verb Object word order in each clause of the sentence. Look for these common coordinating conjunctions:

(Video) German Sentence Structure COMPLETE! | TeKaMoLo | YourGermanTeacher

  • aber (but)
  • und (and)
  • denn (because)
  • sondern (rather)
  • oder (or)
  • doch (however, but)
SubjectVerbObjectCoordinating ConjunctionSubjectVerbObjectTranslation
IchmagKatzen,abermeine MuttermagHunde.I like cats, but my mother likes dogs.
PaulapflanztBlumenundsiebeschneidetBäume.Paula plants flowers and she prunes trees.

However, if you start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction, the word order changes. Some common subordinating conjunctions in German:

  • solange (as long as)
  • sobald (as soon as)
  • da (because)
  • bis (until)
  • wann (when [used with questions])
  • ehe (before)
  • während (during, while)
  • wenn (when, if)
  • dass (that)
Subordinating ConjunctionSubjectObjectVerbVerbSubjectObjectTranslation
Wennsiekommt,tanzeich.When she comes, I dance.
Daichdichmag,neckeichdich.Because I like you, I tease you.
SobaldichSchokoladebekomme,esseichsie.As soon as I get chocolate, I eat it.

How to structure questions in German

The word order of a German question depends on what type of question it is.

For a simple yes-or-no question, place the verb first:

HastduGeschwister?Do you have siblings?
MagsieKekse?Does she like cookies?

If you’re asking a question that starts with a word like warum (why), was (what), or wie (how), then the question word will go in front, and any objects will go before the verb:

Question WordObject(s)VerbSubjectTranslation
Wassingenwir?What are we singing?
Wie vielBrüderhabenSie?How many brothers do you have?
WelcheSprachensprichter?Which languages does he speak?

To learn more about how to structure questions in German check out our article on how to ask German questions (+ 70 examples).

Learning German word order with the news

One way to study German sentence structure with real-life examples is to analyze sentences from news articles.

Nachtrichten Leicht (literally, “News Light”) is a German newspaper that’s designed for learners of the language. It uses clear, simple writing, so you can understand the news stories more easily than those in a regular German paper. There’s even a Wörterbuch (dictionary) on the site, although it’s completely in German.

German Sentence Structure 101: How to Build German Sentences (7)

Let’s take a look at the summary from a recent article, Facebook zeigt Nachrichten an, and break down the word order:

SubjectVerbDirect ObjectIndirect ObjectTranslation
Die Internet-Plattform Facebookhatein neues Angebotin Deutschland.The internet platform, Facebook, has something new to offer in Germany.
SubjectVerbDirect ObjectConjunctionDirect ObjectTranslation
Esheißt„Facebook News“,also„Facebook Nachrichten“.It’s called “Facebook News,” thus, “Facebook Nachrichten.”
SubjectVerbDirect ObjectIndirect ObjectVerb PrefixTranslation
Die PlattformzeigtTextevon deutschen Zeitungenan.The platform displays texts from German newspapers.

The more time you take to do exercises like this, the more quickly and thoroughly you will understand German syntax!

(Video) Basic German Sentence Structure | die Deutsche Satzstruktur | Free Zoom Class

Mastering German word order: Taking the next steps

We’ve examined the word order in several different kinds of German sentences. Now, it’s time for fun and creativity. Here’s how to expose yourself to loads of German sentences:

  • Listen closely: Make a habit of listening to German podcasts, radio shows, and music. Try streaming German-language video, TV shows, and movies
  • Read widely: Read in German as often as you can, from many different sources like magazines, news articles, and books.
  • Learn through story: Stories are especially effective for learning German sentence structure. Not only do they include questions, narrative, and dialogue, but they are also entertaining. Stories keep you engaged on an emotional level, which helps you better absorb and retain what you read.
  • Build your own sentences: When you’re ready to practice building German sentences of your own, try interactive exercises to coach you along.
  • Find conversation partners: Get feedback and hear the many kinds of German sentences there are from a community of fluent speakers or language exchange partners.
  • Try a tutor: To tackle the tougher aspects of German word order, consider learning with a tutor. Preply can help you find a German tutor who will work with you 1-on-1, whenever it’s most convenient for you. Through custom sessions that address all of your questions about German sentence structure, you can learn German online in an easy and convenient way.

German sentence structure can be challenging. By repeatedly reading and listening to German, along with practicing speaking and writing, you can master German word order and express yourself clearly. After all, Übung macht den Meister (practice makes perfect)!


How do you structure a sentence in German? ›

The basic German sentence order is SVO: subject, verb, object. The verb, the main verb or the conjugated part of the verb is always the second element of the sentence. If the subject does not precede the verb, main verb or conjugated part, it must follow it immediately.

Is German sentence structure hard? ›

In English grammar, we usually just have one main subject and one main verb in a sentence. But German grammar is a bit more tricky. There can be numerous subjects and verbs, and they can be arranged in a number of different ways. This can be confusing for English speakers who are used to simpler sentence structures.

How do you make a complex sentence in German? ›

The key element to complex sentence structure in German is the conjunction. Conjunctions are the words we use to connect clauses to give us longer, more complex sentences.
  1. Ich will einen Hund, aber er will nicht. ...
  2. Ich gehe ins Bett, denn ich bin müde.

How do you memorize the German word order? ›

If you remember nothing else about German word order, remember this: the subject will either come first or immediately after the verb if the subject is not the first element. This is a simple, hard and fast rule. In a statement (not a question) the verb always comes second.

What are the 5 basic structures of a sentence? ›

The five-sentence elements are subject, verb, object, complement, and adjunct (SVOCA). The subject is the performer of an action or the agent of the verb. It is usually at the beginning of a sentence, and it is generated by a noun or any of its equivalents, such as a pronoun, a noun phrase, or a noun clause.

What are two most important rules for German sentence structure? ›

As always, understanding WHY German grammar is what it is is the first step to understanding HOW to correctly use German grammar! PRINCIPLE #1: The subject noun (nominative case) MUST be next to the verb. PRINCIPLE #2: The verb MUST be the 2nd element (a.k.a. in the 2nd position).

What is the hardest word to learn in German? ›

1. Eichhörnchen (Squirrel) Also a difficult one in English, this is a classic when it comes to difficult German words to pronounce.

How long does it take to get B2 German? ›

How long does it take to learn German?
Assess your current level & test your German online!Intensive course (20 lessons/week)
A2elementary8 weeks
B1intermediate8 weeks
B2upper intermediate10 weeks*
2 more rows

What makes German grammar difficult? ›

But what makes German so hard to learn? The only reason that German seems so difficult to people is that it has grammar rules that other languages don't. German is a language with relatively high “inflection,” meaning that the words in a sentence change based on their grammatical roles.

What is the easiest way of learning complex sentences? ›

Starting with Independent and Dependent Clauses, using the 5 Ws, using Subordinating Conjunction, Sandwich Sentences and fun games are some of the most effective ways to teach Complex Sentences to the students. Using these can bring improvement in children's writing.

How do you check my German sentence is correct or not? ›

The 7 best German grammar checkers
  1. LanguageTool.
  2. Duden Mentor.
  3. German Corrector.
  4. Online-Spellcheck.
  5. Rechtschreibpruefung24.
  6. Korrekturen.
  7. Reverso.
Nov 7, 2022

What is the fastest way to memorize German words? ›

Hey German learner!
  1. Use repetition: reading, writing and speaking words over and over again.
  2. Associate words with drawings, pictures and funny scenes.
  3. Try to use the language routinely in the context of daily life.
  4. Reading as much as possible, especially the newspaper, helps you to remember words.
Apr 28, 2016

How can I memorize German fast? ›

Top 10 Study Tips to Learn German Faster
  1. Know Your Goal - And Plan How to Get There. ...
  2. Study Daily. ...
  3. Prioritize Key Words. ...
  4. Start Talking from the Beginning. ...
  5. Study Vocabulary Daily. ...
  6. Use Free Apps and Tools. ...
  7. Develop Activities That Target Your Learning Styles and Schedules. ...
  8. Treat Mistakes Like Free Lessons.
Oct 2, 2020

How can I learn German fast by myself? ›

8 Simple, Solo Steps to Learn German
  1. Hear and Repeat German Letter Sounds. ...
  2. Stockpile Some Easy “Framework Words” ...
  3. Expand Your Vocabulary with Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives. ...
  4. Start Putting Sentences Together. ...
  5. Memorize Reusable German Phrases. ...
  6. Watch Movies and Videos in German (Dubbed, Then Authentic) ...
  7. Read the news in German.
Nov 17, 2022

How can I improve my sentence formation? ›

How to Improve Your Sentence Structure
  1. Ensure the information within the sentence is clear. ...
  2. Make sure to use transitional words. ...
  3. Use care with subordinate clauses. ...
  4. Use active voice. ...
  5. Use active verbs. ...
  6. Follow traditional grammatical rules.
Aug 20, 2021

What are the 7 types of sentences? ›

Q5: What are the 8-types of sentences? Answer: There are 8-types of sentences on the basis of function and structure are Declarative Sentence, Interrogative Sentence, Exclamatory Sentence, Imperative Sentence, Simple sentence, Compound Sentence, Complex sentence, and Compound -Complex sentence.

What are the 4 components of a good sentence? ›

Basic Sentence Structure
  • The subject of a sentence is the person, place, or thing that is performing the action of the sentence. ...
  • The predicate expresses action or being within the sentence. ...
  • The direct object receives the action of the sentence. ...

How do I answer Wie Gehts? ›

Small talk in German

“Wie geht's?” OR “Wie geht es dir?” Now, the classical small talk answer would be something like “fine”, “good” or “I am fine.”, “I am good.” etc. Of course one can answer the same things in German: “Gut” OR “Mir geht es gut.” / “Es geht mir gut.”

What are the 100 most common words in German? ›

100 most frequently used German words
  • der / die / das (def. art.) the; (dem. pron.) ...
  • und (conj.) and.
  • sein (verb) to be; (aux./perfect tense)
  • in (prep.) in [variation: im in the]
  • ein (indef. art.) a, an; (pron.) one (of)
  • zu (prep.) to, at; (adv.) too.
  • haben (verb) to have; (aux./perfect tense)
  • ich (pers. pron.) I.

How can I improve my German B2? ›

The 13 best tips to learn German
  1. Learn German with the right app.
  2. Learn german with the right books.
  3. Buy a dictionary.
  4. Create a learning plan and set goals.
  5. Speak german with native speakers.
  6. Watch movies & series in german.
  7. Listen to german songs, podcasts or audio books.
  8. Eliminate all disruptive factors in learning German.
Aug 13, 2021

How many German words do you need to know for B2? ›

Reaching B2 is generally considered by most people as having basic fluency. You'll have a working vocabulary of around 4000 words.

Does German have the hardest grammar? ›

Some parts of German grammar are particularly tricky for English speakers to get to grips with, but German grammar is actually arguably easier to learn than English grammar because it follows set rules that are laid down by the three regional authorities, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (with small differences ...

What is the coolest German word? ›

Each of these words not only will help you expand your vocabulary, but will deepen your knowledge of this new world.
  • Torschlusspanik. ...
  • Fernweh. ...
  • Zweisamkeit. ...
  • Backpfeifengesicht. ...
  • Feierabend. ...
  • Reisefieber. ...
  • Vorfreude. ...
  • Waldeinsamkeit.
Feb 9, 2021

What is the most aggressive German word? ›

15 Heated German Words and Phrases to Use When You're Mad
  1. Quatsch! Pronounced like “Kvatch,” this is one of the more commonly used terms when showing your angry side. ...
  2. Schleich dich! ...
  3. Hau ab! ...
  4. Ich bin sauer. ...
  5. Ich bin wütend. ...
  6. Halt deinen Mund. ...
  7. Geh mir aus den Augen! ...
  8. Leck mich!
Apr 26, 2022

How good is duolingo for German? ›

Duolingo is brilliant for getting to grips with the listening and reading side of a language. You even get opportunities to practice your pronunciation. But when it comes to speaking in a real-life scenario, Duolingo's German course won't get you there by itself.

What level is duolingo German? ›

Hi! I recently passed my reading and listening in Goethe B1.. and I can say that I still can't do every single exercise with a 100% ease. It seems clear to me that duolingo near end is actuality B2 level.

Is B2 German enough for university? ›

As a rule of thumb, German universities require you to present a proof of upper intermediate to advanced German language skills (level B2/C1) to study in German.

What words do Germans struggle with? ›

English words and sounds that Germans will never pronounce correctly
  • Rural. ...
  • Squirrel. ...
  • Blend v Bland , Met v Mat. ...
  • Pleasure, Measure. ...
  • Unvoiced Consonants. ...
  • Tomb, Lamb, Debt. ...
  • The, That, Then.
Oct 5, 2018

How long does it take to be fluent in German? ›

So, how long do you need to learn German if you want to reach this level of fluency? According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you'll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you'll be able to speak like a pro in just a year!

What is harder Spanish or German? ›

Overall, Spanish might be easier than German at the beginning stages, but the two tend to even out in difficulty once learners get to the more advanced stages. German has more complicated grammar rules that need to be mastered early on, but once learners get familiar with them, they find that they're pretty consistent.

What is the best way to improve sentence fluency? ›

Read Aloud

One of the biggest and easiest ways to improve sentence fluency is by reading your work aloud. When reading your work aloud, you will notice mistakes that you did not see in writing.

How do you identify a complex sentence trick? ›

If two clauses are connected with a coordinating conjunction, it's a compound sentence. If two clauses are connected with a subordinating conjunction, it's a complex sentence.

How can I learn sentences quickly? ›

Put the words in context

A good idea to learn more words faster is to put them in context: Instead of writing lists of random words, try to put them in sentences. That way, you know how the word is used in real life. Plus, if you come up with funny sentences, it will be easier to memorize.

Do Germans make grammar mistakes? ›

Some people might think that because German is a “hard” language, it must be difficult to make grammar mistakes in it. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, even Germans make grammar mistakes sometimes.

Where can I practice German grammar? › is a website that offers different resources for German learners such as vocabulary lists, grammatical explanations and simple German readings. It also offers grammar exercises for beginner German learners. There are 12 subheadings of exercises to choose from.

Is there a Grammarly for German? ›

Currently, Grammarly supports only the English language. With that being said, Grammarly recognizes a number of spelling, grammar, and punctuation differences in American, British, Canadian, Australian, and Indian English.

How can I memorize 10x fast? ›

6 Tips on How to Memorize Fast and Easily
  1. Understand your learning style.
  2. Learn the 3 'R's of memorization.
  3. Practice the substitution method.
  4. Learn the story and link method.
  5. Use the memory palace method.
  6. Apply spaced repetition strategically.
Feb 12, 2021

How many words should I know to be fluent in German? ›

In order to feel comfortable speaking German, you really only need to learn about 3,000 words. In contrast, being fluent in German is defined as understanding 10,000+ words.

Can I be fluent in German in a month? ›

You need more than 3 months to be fluent. But even with such a short time, if you adjust your strategy, you can actually learn German and get really close to being fluent.

How much German can I learn in 1 month? ›

No matter whatever else you decide, a good rule of thumb is to try to learn at least 10-15 new German words every day. It might not sound like a lot, but pretty soon you'll have an impressive vocabulary to work with! By the end of one month, you could have a functional vocabulary of nearly 500 words.

How to improve German speaking? ›

5 Ways To Improve Your German Speaking Skills
  1. Read out loud. If you're listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. ...
  2. Prepare things to say ahead of time. ...
  3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them). ...
  4. Review again and again. ...
Sep 17, 2015

How many hours is German A1? ›

A1 (Survival German): 60 – 150 hours. A2 (Basic German): 150 – 260 hours. B1 (Conversational German): 260 – 490 hours. B2 (High Intermediate German): 450 – 600 hours.

What level of German is required to work in Germany? ›

Depending on the German federal state, level B1 or B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.

How do I learn German effortlessly? ›

The best way to learn German at home for beginners: 6 steps to get you started
  1. Set yourself a goal. ...
  2. Start off on the right foot. ...
  3. Turn learning German into a habit. ...
  4. Practise speaking German with online tutoring. ...
  5. Learn new vocab in meaningful chunks. ...
  6. Make studying German rewarding. ...
  7. Dive into German culture with TV.
Mar 27, 2020

How hard is it to become fluent in German? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

Is German sentence structure the same as English? ›

German Has the Same Sentence Structure as English

Since you already know English, mastering German sentence structure will be much easier. English and basic German sentences both follow the SVO (subject-verb-object) structure. This means that simple sentences will look something like this: The dog plays with the ball.

What comes first in a German sentence? ›

In a standard sentence in BOTH English AND German, the subject noun (i.e. nominative case) comes first, followed by the finite (a.k.a. conjugated) verb. All other information (e.g. accusative case, dative case, adverbs, etc.)

Is German SVO or SOV? ›

For example, in German and Dutch, the dominant order is SVO in main clauses lacking an auxiliary and SOV in subordinate clauses and clauses containing an auxiliary (see below for examples).

How do you conjugate a sentence in German? ›

Here are the three basic steps to regular German verb conjugation in the present and past tenses:
  1. Start with the verb's infinitive. This is the form listed in the dictionary. ...
  2. Drop the ending from the infinitive to find the stem. ...
  3. Add the verb ending for the appropriate subject and tense.
Jun 4, 2021

Why is German grammar so complicated? ›

The only reason that German seems so difficult to people is that it has grammar rules that other languages don't. German is a language with relatively high “inflection,” meaning that the words in a sentence change based on their grammatical roles.

What are the 4 types of sentence structures? ›

There are four types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Each sentence is defined by the use of independent and dependent clauses, conjunctions, and subordinators.

How do I know if my German sentence is correct? ›

The 7 best German grammar checkers
  1. LanguageTool.
  2. Duden Mentor.
  3. German Corrector.
  4. Online-Spellcheck.
  5. Rechtschreibpruefung24.
  6. Korrekturen.
  7. Reverso.
Nov 7, 2022

What are the 4 grammatical cases in German? ›

There are four cases in German: nominative (subject), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), and genitive (possessive).

What are the six sentence patterns? ›

Subject/Predicate, Action Verb/Adverb. Subject/Predicate, Linking Verb/Predicate Nominative. Subject/Predicate, Linking Verb/Predicate Adjective. Subject/Predicate, Action Verb/Indirect Object/Direct Object.

Does word order matter in German? ›

In German, there is a clear structure to a sentence, so word order really matters. In German, the verb is always the second idea in a sentence.

What are the 9 prepositions in German? ›

The 9 German prepositions that always require that the noun in the phrase be in the dative case are aus, außer, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu, gegenüber. Prepositions do NOT have tidy 1-to-1 English-German translations and must be learned within authentic spoken/written German context.

What are the 9 German pronouns? ›

German has subject pronouns, too: ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr, sie, Sie. But there are TWO varieties of non-subject pronouns (<– called accusative and dative personal pronouns).

How long does it take to learn German? ›

German is rated as a category 2 language and considered to be similar to English. The FSI estimates that German takes approximately 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours to learn. This study was conducted on a group of language students who spent 25 hours per week in class, and three hours daily on individual practice.


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