Aber das wissen sie noch nicht (word order)

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loureed4

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello,

I am an absolute beginner in the German language. I bought a very basic book, but I am struggling!

The sentence goes like this: "Aber das wissen sie noch nicht."

I translate it like: "But she doesn't know yet"

My question is , Could I change the order?: "Aber sie wissen noch nicht das". ?

I am reading in books that the verb ('wissen' in this sentence) always has to be placed as the second idea in the sentence, therefore, my attempt would be wrong, because in it, it is the third idea: "Aber sie WISSEN...."

I am not sure though.


Thanks in advance!
 
  • Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    "Aber das wissen sie noch nicht."

    I translate it like: "But she doesn't know yet":cross:
    The agreement of verb and subject in the plural tells you that the subject must be they (plural) not she (singular):
    But they don't know yet.

    My question is , Could I change the order?: "Aber sie wissen noch nicht das". ?

    I am reading in books that the verb ('wissen' in this sentence) always has to be placed as the second idea in the sentence, therefore, my attempt would be wrong, because in it, it is the third idea: "Aber sie WISSEN...."
    Conjunctions joining two main clauses like aber, oder, und and denn are exceptions the go to the pre-prefield of the sentence (position "zero" so to speak")

    So your sentence is right. You could change the word order to
    Aber0 das1 wissen2 sie noch nicht. -> Das1 wissen2 sie aber noch nicht.

    ... and still in both cases the finite verb wissen would occupy the second position of the sentence.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felder...zes#Zus.C3.A4tzliche_Felder_in_der_Peripherie
     
    Last edited:

    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks Gerno!

    The explanation is awesome!

    You made it this way: "Das wissen sie aber noch nicht."

    I don't know if it is too much to ask...Could it be too: "Das wissen sie noch aber nicht." or any other way? Or should "nicht" go always at the end of the sentence?

    Sorry if the questions are too basic, It is just that I am an absolute beginner in your mother language. :)

    Vielen Danke! :)
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Could it be too: "Das wissen sie noch aber:cross: nicht."
    No, the noch and the nicht usually cannot be seperated. The only way to separate them would be to put the noch in the prefield position (position 1):

    Noch1 wissen2 sie3 das aber nicht.

    this would put extra emphasis on the adverb noch.
     

    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I see. Interesting! (and a bit difficult!).

    So:
    1- The verb has to be the second word.
    2- If so, then the subject has to go after this verb.
    3- "noch" and "nicht" are rarely separated.

    A question arises: Does "nicht" go always at the end of sentences like this one?

    Thanks Gernot!!
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    So:
    1- The verb has to be the second word.
    With the exception of those conjunctions that take the zero-position (see above)!

    2- If so, then the subject has to go after this verb.:tick:
    Yes usually, but there are exceptions to that rule too!
    3- "noch" and "nicht" are rarely separated.:tick:

    A question arises: Does "nicht" go always at the end of sentences like this one?
    It depends on what you want to negate; if you want to negate the whole sentence (the predicate of the sentence) you usually put the nicht in the end. if you only want to negate a certain phrase within the sentence, you put it right before that phrase.
     
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