Stand-alone ob-sentence

I was wondering if constructions, like

  • “ob es ihm noch gut geht?”

when wondering to yourself aloud how someone is, leave out the main clause?

Is the implication

  • “Ich frage mich, ob es ihm noch gut geht?”?

Or does it mean something else?


(asked by Andrew)

One comment on “Stand-alone ob-sentence

  1. The answer is yes :)… well, basically yes. Things like these are especially common in novels (first as well as third person narrator). And it is not limited to “ob” but it also works for all indirect questions and also for “dass” and “wenn”. There might be examples for other words too but I can’t think of them.
    Very often, there is a “wohl” in questions to underline the wondering-aspect.

    I don’t think that a German native speaker automatically adds the very phrase “Ich frage mich” but for sure some sort of introduction is mentally present… but it can be various things and which one ultimately depends on what exactly the sentence is. In novels, you can also often find the introductory sentence coming after the thought itself…. you can pretty much skip this without loosing too much clarity. In fact, for questions skipping it is advisable for it removes redundancy.

    “Wann Maria wohl kommt?!” (, fragte er sich)
    “Wer das wohl gebaut hat?!” (fragte ich mich)

    “Dass ich das noch erleben darf.” (dachte er und lachte)
    “Wenn das nun doch klappt?!” (überlegte er)

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