Questions in German
Questions without a question word
The finite verb is placed at the beginning of the question, before the subject. The rest of the ordering of the sentence follows the structure of main clauses. The answers to this question could be yes or no.
|Verb||Subject||object (or Remainder of sentence)|
|Kommt||das Kind||zur Schule?|
Questions including questions words
Question- words like wer, wo, wohin are placed at the beginning of a question. The finite verbs follows the question word. A question- word is used to replace a "thing" we are asking about. In compound tenses, the dependent infinitive is the final position in questions.
- Wann habe ich dir das erzählt? - When did I tell you this?
- Wer hat dir das erzählt? - Who told you this?
If you are asking about an object with a preposition, the preposition is placed in front of question-word.
- Mit wem gehst du in eine Klasse? - With who do you go to class?
- Seit wann tust du das? - Since when do you do this?
Questions with "was" plus preposition
This form of question is informal. There are better ways to express those questions.
- Mit was kann ich Ihnen weiter helfen? - Womit kann ich Ihnen weiter helfen?
- An was haben Sie gedacht? - Woran haben Sie gedacht?
Other important question words in the German language
|wer||who||subject (asking about a person)||Wer geht alles zu Party? - Die Klasse||Who goes to the party? - The class|
|wohin||where to||place or direction||Wohin fliegt ihr in den Urlaub? - Nach Spanien||Where do you go for vacation? - To Spain|
|wann||when||time||Wann fliegt ihr in den Urlaub? - Heute||When you go to vacation? - Today|
|woher||where from||origin||Woher kommt ihr? - Aus Deutschland||Where do you come from? - Germany|
|warum||why||reason||Warum machst du sowas? - Weil ...||Why do you do this? - Because...|
|wie||how||manner||Wie hast du geschlafen? - Gut||How did you sleep? - Well|
|wofür||for what||purpose of an action||Wofür hast du so viel gelernt? - Für gute Noten||What did you study so much for? - For good grades|
|was||what||subject or object||Was isst du gerne? - Nudeln||What do you like to eat? - Pasta|
|wem||whom||dative object||Wem hilfst du heute? - Dem Daniel||Who are you helping today? - Daniel|
|wen||who||accusative||Wen magst du nicht? - Niemanden||Who do you dislike? - Nobody|
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