Where is the position of a verb in a sentence?

Verbs in a sentence are called Prädikate.

The position of the Prädikat depends on whether we have a verb consisting of one, two or three parts.


  1. If a verb has one part, it takes the second position. This is the case for example in the tenses Präsens (present) and Präteritum (simple past).

    Ich kaufe Kleider.


I buy clothes.



  1. If a verb has two parts this can have several reasons.

In the first case, it is in a tense that requires an auxiliary word like haben (have) or sein (be) (Perfekt, Plusquamperfekt, Futur I, Passiv). In these cases, the auxiliary word takes the second position in the sentence and the remaining part (Participle) takes the final position of the sentence.


Ich habe Kleider gekauft.

S auxV O V(participle)


I have bought clothes.

S auxV V(participle) O


Sometimes, verbs can have two parts even though they are in the present tense. In the infinitive, they are one word, however conjugated, they are separated.  They are often made of a stem word and a remaining part, which is mostly a preposition. The stem word, which will be conjugated, takes the second position of the sentence and the remaining part (unchanged) takes the final position.

Beispiele: einkaufen, losgehen, einstecken, herumlaufen, schwimmen gehen, ausbrechen

Examples: shop, go, put into pocket, walk around, go swimming, break out


Ich kaufe Kleider ein.

S V(conjugated) O V(unchanged)


I shop clothes.

  1. We have three parts only in the case of the tense Futur II. In this case, the conjugated auxiliary word is in the second position and the remaining parts are in the final position of the sentence, in the order of participle and then infinitive of either haben (have) or sein (be).



Ich werde nächte Woche eingekauft haben.

S V(aux) Adv Best V (participle) V(infinitive)


I will have shopped next week.




S – Subject

V – verb

O – Object

auxV – auxiliary verb

AdvBest – adverb

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