Adverbs give information about the where, when, why and how of the action. They can also qualify adjectives and other adverbs. Adverbs can be individual words ot complete phrases. The adverb and adjective are identical in German.

Er ist schnell wie ein Blitz. - He is as fast as a lightning.

Sie macht alles schnell. - She does everything quickly.

Unlike adjectives adverbs do not decline.

The Time-Manner-Place (TMP) Rule

It is common in German to begin a sentence or a clause with an adverb of time. If this is the case, the subject goes in position II and the verb moves in position I.

Am Sonntag gehen wir mit dem Auto zum See. - On Sunday we are driving to the sea.

When there are two expressions of time in a clause, the general adverb always precedes the particular.

Ich komme jeden Abend um 18 Uhr nach Hause. - I come home at 6 o'clock in the evening.


Adverbs of time cannot precede conjugated verb, because these forms always occupy position II.

Wir sprechen nie über Politik. - We never talk about politics.

In declarative sentences the subject is usually the first element, followed by the conjugated verb. However, it is also possible to begin a German sentence with something other than subject. Placing that element at the beginning of the statement gives it emphasis. The number of words in that element is not important, but the position of the conjugated verb remains constant. It is always the second element of the sentence, while the subject goes straight after it.

Nach der Party, sind wir nach Hause gefahren. - After the party we went home.

Im Sommer gehen wir oft zum See. - In summer we often go to the sea.

When an expression of time occurs in a sentence with objects, follow these rules:

adverb of time + noun object + verb

Ich muss heute diesen Roman zu Ende lesen.

pronoun object + adverb of time + verb

Ich muss es heute zu Ende lesen.

pronoun object + adverb of time + noun object + verb

Ich habe ihm heute diesen Roman gegeben.



Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension