Ich habe gestern einen Film ausgeliehen. (position time adverbial)

Kyoung815

Member
English
How do put words such as "heute, gestern, or morgen" in order?

Because these are adverbs, is there any specific order for adverbs in German?

Are these example correct?:
Ich habe gestern einen Film gemietet.

Ich will heute spazieren gehen.

Danke!
 
  • Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    How do put words such as "heute, gestern, or morgen" in order?

    Because these are adverbs, is there any specific order for adverbs in German?

    Are these example correct?:
    Ich habe gestern einen Film gemietet.

    Ich will heute spazieren gehen.

    Danke!
    You can put time adverbials almost anywhere you like, as long as it is not in between other constellations words that belong together as an entity. Almost like you do in English. However, at the end of the phrase, after the participle, would usuylly sound odd if not stressed in a certain way - like, I really want to point out THAT was the time and not at some other time.
    However, in German it might be necessary to switch the position of verb and the subject. - Heute will ich spazieren gehen.


    I still haven't seen a language where you can't put time adverbials pretty much where you want.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    I still haven't seen a language where you can't put time adverbials pretty much where you want.
    English is one of them. Extreme exceptions aside, you can't put an adverbial between predicate and object:

    *I will see soon you.

    Hence, I disagree with the whole notion of
    You can put time adverbials almost anywhere you like [...] Almost like you do in English.



    The restrictive caution,
    as long as it is not in between other constellations words that belong together as an entity
    doesn't make it any better since the predicate and the object exactly don't form an entity together and still you can't place an adverbial between them, whereas there's the predicate will see, which indeed is an entity in my example above, but an adverbial may well go in between its two parts:

    I will soon see you.





    Details aside, German word order boils down to the finite verb being in the second position of a main clause, and in the final position of a subordinate clause, respectively.
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, in case of the sentence
    Ich habe gestern einen Film gemietet.
    you can only move to one place:

    Ich habe einen Film gestern gemietet. (strange, I'd expect "den Film".)

    But this sounds strange, and it works only in restricted context, because "einen Film" is not a special movie.

    In this position "gestern" is emphasized.

    You can move as apposition, including a comma.

    Ich habe einen Film gemietet, gestern.

    This works quite well. The comma is necessary, and "gestern" replaces a sentence; "Ich habe ihn gestern gemietet."


    When you move to other positions, you have to restructure the sentence, the finit verb has to be at the second position.
    Examples:
    Gestern habe ich einen Film gemietet.
    Einen Film habe ich gestern gemietet.
    Gemietet habe ich einen Film gestern. (strange, should be "den Film".)

    Usually the position of a word emphasizes it if it is not at a neutral posiotion or if it pushed to another place because of the finite verb second place rule.
    This is essential in main clauses. It is not applied to questions or imperative clauses or subordinate clauses (as Schimmelrreiter mentioned, there is another rule).

    Hast du gestern einen Film gemietet?

    Du hast gestern einen Film gemietet? (Only in special context, to ascertain the fact. "Nachfrage".)
     
    Last edited:

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Ich habe einen Film gestern gemietet. (strange, I'd expect "den Film".)

    But this sounds strange, and it works only in restricted context, because "einen Film" is not a special movie.
    I don't think it works in any context at all, since it violates the rule
    Canoo.net said:
    Adverbial adjuncts come before undetermined dative and accusative objects
    http://www.canoo.net/services/OnlineGrammar/Satz/Wortstellung/Stellungsfeld/Mittelfeld/Adverbial/AndereSatzglieder.html?lang=en#Anchor-Stellung-14210

    ... which is probably derived from the the rule old before new:

    If the information Film precedes the information gestern, the first must be older than the latter, so you must have been talking about that Film before, in which case the indefinite article is inappropriate, since it is only meant to mark newly introduced pieces of information or nouns in a generalizing usage.

    Tita von Hardenberg said:
    Weihnachtsfilme sind das klebrigste aller Filmgenres.
    Ich würde nie im Leben einen Weihnachtsfilm sehen wollen.
    or
    Ich würde einen Weihnachtsfilm nie im Leben sehen wollen.

    Here, both is possible, since the indefinite article marks the generalizing usage of Weihnachtsfilm not the recency of information.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I try a context:

    a: Vorgestern habe ich zwei Filme gemietet.
    b: Wann hast du einen Film gemietet?
    a: Einen Film habe ich gestern gemietet.

    Note that "einen" defines the amount here. "Ein" defines the amount even if it is used as article.
    As amount it defines the word "enough" to allow the position. But this requires context so that you recognize it.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    a: Einen Film habe ich gestern gemietet.
    Of course thats correct, but this is a different case with einen Film in the pre-field of the sentence. Anything you want to stress, any thing you want to focus on can be put in the pre-field of the sentecnce. The OP's example was with both, the adverbial and the accusative complement, in the middle field, though. Here, both phrases can't switch positions.
     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Would it work then if [einen] Film were used in a generalising manner?

    Ich habe einen Film gestern ausgeliehen. Ich hatte ein Buch vorgestern ausgeliehen.
    I wouldn't see anything generalizing in your above sentences. It would be different with the following two variants, though.


    1. Ich würde mir nie einen Film ausleihen. (no further meaning)
    2. Ich würde mir einen Film nie ausleihen (, sondern ihn immer nur kaufen).

    And yes; in this last meaning, I would have to stress the verb ausleihen, while in the first example I could choose to put the stress on either Film or ausleihen.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    How about

    a: Vorgestern habe ich zwei Filme gemietet.

    b: Aber wann hast du einen Film gemietet?
    a: Ich habe einen Film gestern gemietet.

    Also:
    Ich habe zwei Filme vorgestern und einen Film gestern gemietet.

    I think this is correct.

    Compare: Ich habe gestern einen und vorgestern zwei Filme gemietet.

    Ich habe einen Kloß gestern gegessen. Zwei sind noch da. Die esse ich heute.

    Ich habe einen Film gestern ausgeliehen. Die anderen beiden leihe ich morgen. (Backwards defined).

    The problem is that "ein" may be an article or an number - or both, because the article includes the property as number.

    ---

     

    Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    Ich habe einen Film gestern ausgeliehen. Die anderen beiden leihe ich morgen. (Backwards defined).
    But in this case you would have to stress both, the numeral einen and the time adverbial gestern.
    This is very unusual. You would rather put the stressed accusative complement einen Film into the pre-field, instead of having two heavy stresses in the immediate neighborhood, both within the middle field.
     
    Last edited:

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    But in this case you would have stress both, the numeral einen and the time adverbial gestern.
    This is very unusual. You would rather put the stressed accusative complement einen Film into the pre-field, instead of having two heavy stresses in the immediate neighborhood, both within the middle field.
    I know. That is why I wrote such phrases sound strange and depend on context. But I think it is correct.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top