Adjective position?

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Senior Member
English - England
Hi. What position can adjectives go in a German sentence? I am starting to get used to how things are phrased in German, but when looking at the word 'entfernt' I got a bit confused about where it should go.
So where does the word 'entfernt' go when it kind of means 'away' in a sentence?
In general, are there any differences in adjective position in German compared to English?
  • perny

    Senior Member

    Das Haus ist/liegt entfernt.
    Wie weit ist es?
    Es liegt [X entfernt].

    X is adverbial. At least, that's how I think of it. Since it is an adverb modifying an adjective, it is natural it would go before the adjective entfernt. It is not something I have ever looked too deeply into, so natives likely have a better answer.

    There is nothing particularly interesting about most adjectives in sentences. As attributes of nouns, they normally come before the noun (there are other types of attributes though). When linked to copula verbs, like sein and werden, and making a declaration, they normally come last in a clause.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    The main rule is in a simple main clause:
    Verb has position 2.
    The other phrases may be grouped according what you want to emphasize.

    In our case it is possible:

    Weit entfernt liegt das Haus. (I added "weit" here to make clear that it is distance and not removal. This is because the context is not clear yet. The style is poetic and not colloquial, you can find it in fairy tales and stories, for example.)
    100 km entfernt liegt das Haus.
    Das Haus liegt 100 km entfernt.

    In a subordinate clause there are fewer possibilities of movement.

    Wenn das Haus (100 km) entfernt liegt, kann ich nicht hinfahren.

    In the subordinate clause here no movement is possible, you can only move the whole subordinate clause.
    Ich kann ich nicht hinfahren, wenn das Haus (100 km) entfernt liegt.
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