Sentence Brackets

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What are Sentence Brackets? (Satzklammern)

Some verbs (verben) use a Prefix (Präfix), or we use them in combination with a second verb.

The conjugated verb remains in Position 2, but the Prefix or second verb is at the end of the sentence.

This creates brackets that contain all of the other information ⇒ Sentence Brackets


  • „Ich stehe um 6 Uhr auf.“

When do we use Sentence Brackets?

We use Sentence Brackets when there is a Separable Verbs (Trennbaren Verben)or more than one verb in a sentence:

Sentence Brackets are primarily used most often in Main Clauses. In Subordinate Clause, the verb is at the end, so no Sentence Brackets are needed.

That is especially important for Separable Verbs. If the Prefix and the main part of the verb are both at the end, we do not separate them anymore.


  • „Ich stehe früh auf.“
    ⇒ with Sentence Brackets because it's a main clause and the verb is in P2.
  • „Ich gehe zeitig ins Bett, weil ich immer früh aufstehe.“
    ⇒ No sentence brackets are needed because it's a subordinate clause. The Prefix and the verb remain together at the end of the sentence ⇒ We do not separate them.
  • Partizip 2: aufgestanden


  • When there are two verbs in the sentence, the conjugated verb is in position 2 and the second verb always is at the end of the sentence.
  • If the separable verb is at the end of the sentence, we do NOT separate it!.
  • For separable verbs, the verb stem stays in position 2 and the prefix is at the end of the sentence.

Related Topics:

Entire lesson in German only: Satzklammern

Sentence Brackets are used in Main Clauses.

You need Sentence Brackets in the following situations:

More information on German sentence structure and word order: Satzbau (Sentence Structure).

You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar. 

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