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Thread: Verbs as the second element in the sentence

  1. #1
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    Verbs as the second element in the sentence

    In German, I believe it is essential that verbs come as the second element in the sentence regardless. So, like, morgens trinke ich ein Glas Orangensaft.

    I've had a convo with a friend of mine who wrote the word "aber" in a place where it didn't make sense. I looked through the MSN history but no avail.. anyways I'm guessing it has to do with this rule.

    To simplify, my question is, could we say, "Ich wohne in Berlin" "Du sprichst aber keinen Deutsch."

    Is the last sentence correct, grammatically speaking, that is.
    "С чий очи сънувам, чий е този лик обречен?
    Смъртен глас ми се причува и отеква с вик далечен
    Как да зърна да погледна, чуждий образ да прегърна,
    на лицето ми студено грях в надежда да превърна.."

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    If the sentence begins with another word like in your example, then the verb comes second and the pronoun follows. Usually the first word it to be important in the sentence. Here he wants to insist on the fact that every morning he drinks a glass of orange juice.

    That's correct, you can say "du sprichst aber keinen Deutsch" which is I think to intensify on the fact that you don't speak German.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, the only time the verb doesn't come second is in questions without interogative words (who, what, etc.) or in commands. In those cases it comes first. Also, if a subject pronoun is included in the sentence it must come either first in the sentence or third (directly after the verb). The only exception to this is that if you are usuing a Nominative and Acusative pronoun which are the same. In this case the subject always comes first to avoid confusion (or at least that is my understanding). For instance, if we have the sentence "Sie soll ihre Hausaufgabe schreiben." and we replace the 'ihre Hausaufgabe' with the pronoun 'sie' we cannot put it first because one cannot tell the difference between "Sie soll sie schreiben." and "Sie soll sie schreiben."

    As for the 'aber' question, I'm afraid that I can't help. Sorry.

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    Spiderkat is right. "aber" in your example intsifies the fact that you don't speak German.
    One small correction: It is "Du sprichst aber kein Deutsch" (not keinen!).
    Otherwise the sentence is perfectly ok.

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    Thank you guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Старик
    Spiderkat is right. "aber" in your example intsifies the fact that you don't speak German.
    One small correction: It is "Du sprichst aber kein Deutsch" (not keinen!).
    Otherwise the sentence is perfectly ok.
    Why kein? Is it how adjectives work, or is the word for "language" in German neuter, which I'm guessing is the case here?
    "С чий очи сънувам, чий е този лик обречен?
    Смъртен глас ми се причува и отеква с вик далечен
    Как да зърна да погледна, чуждий образ да прегърна,
    на лицето ми студено грях в надежда да превърна.."

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    Deutsch (the noun) is neuter as you guessed and deutsch (the adjective) follows the rules of declension. For example, die deutsche Sprache.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

  7. #7
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    The other time verbs don't come second is with subordinating (or was it coordinating?) conjunctions:

    Ich gehe nicht, weil es langweilig ist.

    for example.
    "Everyone is born left-handed. You turn right-handed when you commit your first sin."
    -a sign on Norman Schwarzkopf's desk

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