What are Complements? (Verben mit Ergänzungen)
Some verbs require specific things in order to make sense and be grammatically correct.
⇒ things that you can't leave out are called complements.
⇒ things that are optional are called adjuncts.
For example, every sentence needs a subject - someone or something that performs the action. The only exception is the imperative (command form), where the subject is implied: i.e. "Komm!" (Come!)
Complements can be individual words, phrases, or clauses.
Here are the different types of complements a verb can require
Verbs with Complements - Examples
⇒ "Der Mann," "dem Kind"" and "den Ball" are all complements. Without all of them, the sentence doesn't make sense. For example, if I said "The man gave" it wouldn't make sense. What did he give?!?!?
⇒ „jetzt“ is an adjunct - it is just extra information. Leaving it out still leaves a grammatically correct sentence that makes sense.
⇒ „Der Mann“ can't be left out. It's a complement.
⇒ „mit einem Geschenk“ and „auf seine Tochter“ are extra pieces of information - they could be left out and the sentence would still make sense. "The man waits" is a full sentence that makes sense.
Lessons on Different Types of Complements
All the info you need for the various complements in German:
- Verbs with Nominative Complements
- Verbs with Accusative Complements
- Verbs with Dative Complements
- Verbs with Dative and Accusative Complements
- Verbs with Genitive Complements
- Verbs with Preposition Complements
Entire lesson in German only: Verben mit Ergänzungen
You can find more lessons on Verbs here:
- Was sind Verben? (What are Verbs?)
- Starke Verben (Strong Verbs)
- „sein“ und „haben“ ("sein" and "haben")
- Reflexive Verben (Reflexive Verbs)
- Trennbare & Untrennbare Verben (Separable & Inseparable Verbs)
- Modalverben (Modal Verbs)
- Partizip 1 (Present Participle)
- Partizip 2 (Past Participle)
- Das Verb „werden” (Verb "werden")
- Das Verb „lassen” (Verb "lassen")
- Imperativ (Imperative)
- Konjunktiv 1 (Subjunctive 1)
- Konjunktiv 2 (Subjunctive 2)
- Das Passiv (Passive Voice)
- Vorgangspassiv (Process Passive)
- Das Passiv in allen zeitformen (Process Passive in all tenses)
- Verben ohne Passiv (Verbs without Passive voice)
- Zustandpassiv (Status Passive)
- Das unpersönliche Passiv (Impersonal Passive)
- Verben mit Nominativ (Verbs with Nominative)
- Verben mit Akkusativ (Verbs with Accusative)
- Verben mit doppeltem Akkusativ (Verbs with double Accusative)
- Verben mit Dativ (Verbs with Dative)
- Verben mit Akkusativ & Dativ (Verbs with Accusative & Dative)
- Verben mit Genitiv (Verbs with Genitive)
- Verben mit Präpositionen (Verbs with Prepositions)
Lists on the topic of German verbs:
- Die 30 wichtigsten Verben mit Vokalwechsel (The 30 most important verbs with vowel change)
- Untrennbare Präfixe (Inseparable Prefixes)
- Wechselpräfixe (Two-case Prefixes)
- Unregelmäßige Partizip 2 Formen (Irregular Participle 2 forms)
- Nomen-Verb-Verbindungen (Noun-Verb compounds)
You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar.