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Learning German Online - Interactive German Lessons for Adults and Children
Lesson 5: Talking about time & schedules

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Practicing the use of adverbs of time and frequency

This page is a little theoretical. It contains lots of rules and grammar. We are trying to make our rules easy to memorize. That's why we put them into the blue boxes:
RULE: ...


On the previous page, you saw four examples of how adverbs of time and frequency and also expressions of time ("at three o'clock") can be used inside a German sentence. You also tried to figure out the grammatical rules that have to be applied when using these expressions. We will now put these rules into words so that you can understand them better:

RULE: When the time of the day or an adverb of time/frequency are placed at the very beginning of the sentence, the subject and the main-verb switch their positions.
time - 1st verb - subject - direct object


RULE: When you want to place the time of the day or an adverb of time/frequency in the middle of the sentence, place it right behind the first verb of the sentence or, if you want to stress this information of time in particular, place it behind the direct object of the sentence.
subject - 1st verb - time - direct object
OR:
subject - 1st verb - direct object - time
The above rule allows you to place an information of time behind the first verb of the sentence or behind the direct object, if it exists. Usually, you will place the information of time behind the first verb. We will learn on the next pages that there are cases in which you have no choice but to put the information of time behind the direct object. But we will go into this later.

RULE: When an information about time as well as an information about location are both given in a sentence, the information of time ALWAYS precedes the information of location, no matter what.


Those three rule above summarize entirely the new grammar from the example sentences on the previous page. We will now extensively practice the use of these three rules in the following exercises.

Exercise
Add to the beginning(!) of the following sentences the information of time given in parentheses. The information of time in the answers is highlighed in blue.

Example:
Ich mähe den Rasen. (selten)
Selten mähe ich den Rasen.

move mouse over ?-fields
for correct answers
1) Du spielst Fußball. (abends)
?
2) Ines relaxt im Garten. (um acht Uhr)
?
3) Wir gehen in die Kirche. (später)
?


Exercise
Put in the middle of the following sentences the information of time given in parentheses. Be aware of the fact that in German: time precedes location!.

Example:
Martin macht sein Bett. (nie)
Martin macht nie sein Bett.


The new soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

move mouse over ?-fields
for correct answers
1) Thomas geht ins Stadion. (jetzt)
?
2) Uta joggt. (um halb sechs)
?
3) Kerstin arbeitet im Garten. (mittags)
?


Exercise
Now to the difficult part: Can you translate the following sentences into German? Whenever the information of time is at the beginning of the English sentence, do the same for your German translation.

Example:
Today, we go to the supermarket.
Heute gehen wir in den Supermarkt.


1) Andreas and Gabi are taking pictures right now.
_____________________________________

?

2) In the evening, we take a walk.
____________________________________

?

3) Your dad prepares the food around noon.
___________________________________

?

4) At half past nine, my sister repairs her bike.
___________________________________________________

?

5) We will go to the office tomorrow. (difficult)
_________________________________

?

6) Tomorrow, we will go to the zoo. (even more difficult!)
___________________________________

?

It seems that you understood the use of the above rules very well. Nevertheless, we will further exercise the positioning of subject and verb in connection with adverbs of time at some later point in this lesson.


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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D] [E]

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