Ich will nicht, dass du die Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst

Tom589

New Member
English
I wonder if you could help me. I am new to german and am at about A2 level. I came across this sentence...

Ich will nicht, dass du die Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst.

I thought that 'die Fllöte' would come after the time phrase: Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr am Morgen die Flöte spielst.

So, I was wondering, which sentence A or B sounds most natural?

A. Ich will nicht, dass du die Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst.

B. Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr am Morgen die Flöte spielst.

Thank you for your time!
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    Hello
    I think that both A and B are correct. It depends on what element you wish to emphasize: what comes last is emphasized.
    A emphasizes ''vor acht Uhr am Morgen/morgens'' (but it's ok if you play later)
    B emphasizes ''die Flöte'' (the sentence could continue as ... ''but you are welcome to play some other instrument'').
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    B definitely sounds more natural to me
    :thumbsup:

    There's a helpful 'rule of thumb' about the order of words in the German sentence:
    The TEKAMOLO - Rule
    In a nutshell, it stands for the words TEmporal, KAusal, MOdal and LOkal, and that is the order that the complements that describe various things take in a normal sounding sentence in German.
    This is the default word order, depending on the context this can of course be changed.

    The tendency to place the TEmporal immediately after the subject (and the verb) is very strong.

    => "Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr morgens Flöte spielst." :thumbsup: - the most natural
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    It doesn't say anything about the position of objects, though, does it?
    You're right.

    Objects with definite articles generally (default word order) are placed after "TEmporal, KAusal, MOdal" but before "LOkal".
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    A. Ich will nicht, dass du die Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst.
    Compare: Ich will, dass du die Flöte nach Acht spielst, statt früh um sieben.
    It is a specific instrument. (see #3, Frank 78)

    B. Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr am Morgen die Flöte spielst. (statt einem anderen Instrument)
    It is a specific instrument. (see #3, Frank 78)

    In both A and B stress can tell whether "die Flöte" or " vor acht Uhr am Morgen" is the essential information. Usually you find this by context or it is not important. Both sentences can have the connotation that it is too loud and you should prefer a silent instrument. Or "die Flöte" is a specific expensive instrument. We don't know. Anyway it is not used for "Flöte spielen" but for "auf dieser Flöte spielen".

    It is better to have a short binding. This principle avoids:
    Ich will, dass du die/diese Flöte nach Acht spielst, statt die/diese/jene Geige. :confused:
    This is only possible with strong stress at "die/diese Flöte".


    A2. Ich will nicht, dass du Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst.
    It empasizes "vor acht Uhr am Morgen". This is becase it splits the verb phrase "Flöte spielen" here. We must consider that it is a subordinated clause.

    B2. Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr am Morgen Flöte spielst.
    Sounds neutral to me. I would prefer it in neutral (both in elevated and coll.) language
    The time is here a unit: vor acht Uhr am Morgen/vor acht Uhr morgens - It tells at first the specific time and then the period of time.

    Possible is the variant:
    B2. Ich will nicht, dass du am Morgen vor acht Uhr Flöte spielst. This tells at first the general time and then the specific time.
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    The tendency to place the TEmporal immediately after the subject* (and the verb) is very strong.
    *In subordinate clauses it's after the subject.

    In an independent clause it would be very common (if you want to emphasize the time) to put it at the beginning:

    1) Vor acht Uhr morgens sollst du {nicht Flöte spielen}. :thumbsup:

    Default word order (no special emphasis):
    2) Du sollst vor acht Uhr morgens {nicht Flöte spielen}. :thumbsup:

    Less common:
    3) Du sollst Flöte vor acht Uhr morgens nicht spielen. :thumbsdown: (not idiomatic)


    If you chose to put Flöte after the verb in order to emphasize the time, you could say:
    4) Du sollst Flöte {nicht vor acht Uhr morgens} spielen. (possible but not optimal because it splits the verb phrase "Flöte spielen" (cf. #8).
     
    Last edited:

    Tom589

    New Member
    English
    Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I am so impressed by the care and insight that you have shared with me.

    We have established that:

    1. Instruments do not take a definite article normally in German (unless we are emphasising a specific instrument)
    2. Sentence B "Ich will nicht, dass du vor acht Uhr am Morgen Flöte spielst" is the most natural, default sounding sentence.
    3. Sentence A "Ich will nicht, dass du Flöte vor acht Uhr am Morgen spielst" might work in specific contexts (but it's ok if you play later)
    4. I have been introduced to the TEKAMOLO rule
    5. That elements of the sentence can be moved earlier to stress those elements

    So thank you all very much!

    Tom
     
    Top