helpful tips for German exam revision
How best to prepare for German A Level and Higher exams

Syntax or Word Order, in a sentence varies a lot between German and English. Learning to use it correctly is key to good writing, speaking and translating. 

Here are some tips: 

1) In clauses with und, aber, denn, oder, we keep the original word order, i.e. the verb is in Position 2. Examples: Jugendliche benutzen moderne Technologie,  denn sie lernen sehr schnell neue Methoden der Kommunikation – both verbs are in Position 2, “DENN” is Position 0. 

2) In clauses with deshalb, dann, trotzdem, we put the verb in Position 2 straight after the conjunction. Examples: Jugendliche benutzen gern moderne Technologie, deshalb verbringen sie viel Zeit vor ihren Smartphones. – benutzen in Position 2, verbringen in Position 2 and „DESHALB“ is Position 1.

3) In clauses with „weil“, „dass“, „wenn“, „als“ the verb appears at the end. Example: Die Allergierate ist in Deutschland sehr hoch, weil Jugendliche unter vielen Allergien leiden. – “ist” is in Position 2 in the main clause, “leiden” is pushed to the end of the “WEIL” clause.

In A  level and Higher German exams, you need to demonstrate not only the correct use of the German syntax. It is also important to show a range of different clauses and conjunctions. Avoid sticking to the same patterns, e.g. using “weil” and “dass” clauses all the time. We have so much more choice in German!

by Dr Beata Kohlbek, German tutor