|Basic patterns in German language:
Word order in questions
English has rules about
the order of words in a sentence. The basic
pattern is the order subject – finite verb – object
(S–V–O). In comparison
German word order is more flexible than English word order. But there
still some patterns and rules in German.
You have two types of word order in questions (same as in English).
One Type is with a question word (interrogative) and the second type
with a finite
verb (without an interroagtive) and requires ‘yes’ or
‘no’ as an answer.
Types of questions:
Interrogative questions: The interrogative
occupies the first place
in this type of question. It is followed by the verb and then the
So the usage of most question words in German is very similar to
Yes - No - questions:
The second type of question can by answered
by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, so you do not need a
question word. Instead
the question word the verb moves into the first position. The verb is
by the subject and then the object. English often uses the verb
form Yes - No - questions. In German, these structures do not exist.
You want to know the name
of a person and ask this person. This kind
of question is an interroagtive question, the answer is not "Yes" or
As you know this kind of question needs a question word.
English: What is your name?
Translation: what (English) -> wie (German)
German: Wie ist ihr Name?
First: question word (wie), second: verb (ist) then followed by the
subject (ihr Name)
English: Do you live in Germany?
Tranlation: This is a Yes or No question
German: Wohnen Sie in Deutschland