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Word Order (Part 1): Verbs in the Second Position


I. Theory

Word order in German does not always follow the subject-object-verb sequence that we find in English. It often depends on the type of clause (main or subordinate) as well as the number/tense of verbs present.

II. V2

In a main clause (with the exception of yes/no questions), the conjugated verb must always remain in the second position. This is known as “V2.” In other words, if a sentence doesn’t begin with a subject, the verb still follows whatever information is starting the sentence. Such information can pertain to time, manner, place or even be an object. This information is often put first in the sentence as a way of stressing them.

Ich trinke Wein zum Abendessen.
I drink wine with dinner.


Zum Abendessen trinke ich Wein.
With dinner, I drink wine.

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