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question involving word order.

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by vinyljunkie619, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. vinyljunkie619 Senior Member

    so-cal
    algerian arabic/american english
    so, i have been learning german for a few months now; and although the vocabulary is quite easy to learn, i have a confidence issue with word order....
    i want to say "i know that i should try to sleep, but..."
    would it be "ich weiß daß ich versuchen zu schlafen soll, aber..."
    or
    "ich weiß daß ich soll versuchen zu schlafen, aber..." ?


    -thanks
     
  2. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    Ich weiß, dass ich versuchen sollte zu schlafen.
    or:

    Ich weiß, dass ich zu schlafen versuchen sollte.

    Zu schlafen is an infinitive clause containing nothing but the infinitive schlafen and the conjunction zu. There are no further arguments/complements/objects depending from this verb. That is why you can put it both in the middle field and the post field of the main sentence. The more complex an infinitive clause is, the better style it is to exbraciate an infinitive clause, though.

    http://www.canoo.net/services/Onlin...ungsfeld/Nachfeld.html#Anchor-Infinitiv-11481


    • Ich sollte zu schlafen versuchen.:tick:
    • Ich sollte versuchen zu schlafen.:tick:
    • Ich sollte versuchen, sontagmorgens beim Nachhausekommen aus der Disko nicht immer alle meine Hausnachbarn aufzuwecken.:tick:
    • *Ich sollte, sontagmorgens beim Nachhausekommen aus der Disko nicht immer alle meine Hausnachbarn aufzuwecken, versuchen.:cross:

    In these four examples the infinitive clauses are all first-degree subordinate clauses within an independent clause.
    Your examples are even more complex. Here the infinitive clause is a second-degree subordinate clause within a first-degree subordinate clause within an independant clause.

    Ich weiß [ , dass ich versuchen sollte [ zu schlafen ] ].:thumbsup:
    Ich weiß [ , dass ich [ zu schlafen ] versuchen sollte ].:thumbsdown:

    Usually the finite verb (the part of the verb that bears the personal ending) should occupy the very last position within the subordinate clause, but as yet another subordinate (infinitive) clause is part of it, you better (kind of) exbraciate the second-degree (infinitive) clause after the finite verb of the first-degree subordinate clause.
     
  3. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    Still, it is not so uncommon to hear somebody utter the last of your sentences (Ich weiß [ , dass ich [ zu schlafen ] versuchen sollte) in everyday German, is it, Gernot?
     
  4. Hau Ruck

    Hau Ruck Senior Member

    United States - Midwest
    English - U.S.
    Also, it's noteworthy that Gernot corrected your 'ß' usage. Note that in German (which is different than Swiss German - I don't believe they use the 'ß' anymore) usually (but there are exceptions) the 'ß' is used after a long vowel (or a dipthong) such as 'weiß' and a double 's' is used after short vowels such as 'dass'. This is only a general guideline as there are a few exceptions of course.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  5. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    Even though this is a sentence with two degrees of embedding, it is still relatively short.

    As I already said: The longer and more complex a sentence, the more indispensable the exbraciation of the infinitive and other subordinate clauses.
     
  6. vinyljunkie619 Senior Member

    so-cal
    algerian arabic/american english
    ok makes complete sense to me. so when there are multiple clauses after the main clause, you have to keep them separated...
    for example: "but you know i want you to consider going later" would be "aber du weißt dass ich will dass du überlegst zu später gehen"
    meaning that the minute you use "zu" or any other conjunction, it causes the chain of infinitives to break...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  7. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    I don't think the last part is quite correct "..., aber du weißt dass ich will dass du dir überlegst ob du später gehst"
     

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