Grammar could be a sore level whenever you study German, proper?
The factor is, as you grasp harder German grammar concepts, you possibly can categorical your self in a extra complicated and native-like method. So it’s value persevering with even the trickiest elements of the language.
Subordinate or sub-clauses are a superb example. They could be one of many more durable to know elements of German grammar. However they don’t need to be troublesome to wrap your head around.
With this simple and easy rationalization, you can begin building complicated sentences in German using the right word-order.
In this submit, you’ll study 7 must-know concepts to master German sub-clauses. However the end, you’ll really feel more assured about your German grammar and your means to precise yourself in a more nuanced method.
Let’s get to it. I’ll begin by explaining what clauses truly are and why they matter a lot.
- 1 #1 An Introduction To German Sub-Clauses
- 2 #2 Must-Know German Subordinate Conjunctions
- 3 #three Word Order (Important Clause Before Sub-Clause)
- 4 #4 Phrase Order (Sub-Clause Earlier than Foremost Clause)
- 5 #5 Sub-Clauses And Multiple Verbs In German
- 6 #6 Sub-Clauses And Separable German Verbs
- 7 #7 Infinitive Sub-Clauses In German
- 8 Sub-Clauses In German Simplified
#1 An Introduction To German Sub-Clauses
Sometimes, a sub-clause tells us more details about the primary clause in a sentence. You want a major clause (der Hauptsatz) and a subordinate clause (der Nebensatz) to build a compound sentence.
- Instance: Ich will Deutsch lernen, weil es spaß macht (I need to study German because it’s enjoyable)
In this instance, Ich will Deutsch lernen is the primary clause. Es macht spaß is the subordinate clause. The phrase weil is the subordinating conjunction and connects the 2 clauses.
The result is a compound, or complicated sentence composed of two clauses. A comma all the time separates subordinate clauses and essential clauses in German.
As a local English speaker, chances are you’ll be asking your self how it is best to make sense of German verb place in subordinate clauses. At first sight, German verbs seem to shuffle their approach around in sentences. However there’s a reasoning behind this insanity.
Sometimes, the verb of the subordinate clause is shipped to the top of the sentence. I’ll walk you through verb order afterward. However first, let’s take a look at the subordinate conjunctions that join two clauses into a sentence.
#2 Must-Know German Subordinate Conjunctions
German has numerous subordinate conjunctions to select from. Sadly, they should be discovered by coronary heart. The good news is, once you turn into conversant in subordinate conjunctions, you’ll recognise them instantly.
And, as a sensible language learner though, you recognize that the easiest way to select up and reinforce core grammar, is to immerse your self in the language, by reading in German for instance.
Following are a few of the commonest and important subordinate conjunctions to add to your vocabulary:
- Translation: As/when
- Du hast oft getanzt, als du jung warst (You typically danced once you have been young)
- Translation: Before
- Ruf mich an, bevor du nach Hause gehst (Name me earlier than you go house)
- Translation: Until
- Wir warten, bis du anfängst (We’re waiting until you start)
- Translation: That
- Wir hoffen, dass es sich lohnt (We’re hoping that it’s value it)
- Translation: So that
- Ich arbeite, damit ich Geld habe (I work so that I’ll have cash)
- Translation: Whether/ if
- Weißt du, ob es im Angebot ist? ( Have you learnt if it’s on sale?)
- Translation: Though
- Ich bin müde, obwohl es so früh ist (I’m drained though it’s so early)
- Translation: Since
- Der Dach ist kaputt, seit dem Sturm (The roof has been broken because the storm)
- Translation: As quickly
- Schreibt mir, sobald ihr Zuhause seid (Write to me as quickly as you’re residence)
- Translation: As far as
- Sie ist bei der Arbeit, soweit ich weiß (She is at work so far as I know)
- Translation: As well as, as soon as
- Ich liebe Erdnussbutter, sowie Marmelade (I love peanut butter in addition to jam)
- Translation: Throughout
- Versuch nochmal, während den Öffnungszeiten (Attempt again through the opening hours)
- Translation: Because
- Ich esse Salat, weil es gesund ist (I eat salad as a result of it’s wholesome)
- Translation: If
- Sag uns Bescheid, wenn du gehs (Let us know once you go)
- Translation: How
- Ich weiß nicht, wie es passiert ist ( I don’t know how it happened)
- Translation: The place
- Sagt er, wo wir uns treffen sollen? (Is he telling us the place we should always assembly?)
#three Word Order (Important Clause Before Sub-Clause)
In all the examples above, the primary clause comes before the subordinate clause. The primary clause maintains its ordinary word order.
After the comma comes our subordinate conjunction, and the verb is shipped to the top of the sentence.
Instance: Ich bin müde. Es ist so früh. (I’m drained. It’s so early.)
The primary clause is Ich bin müde. The subordinate clause is Es ist so früh. Let’s combine each clauses with obwohl (although) to create a compound sentence.
By adding a comma between the clauses and sending the verb ist to the top of the sentence, you find yourself with the compound sentence: Ich bin müde, obwohl es so früh ist.
#4 Phrase Order (Sub-Clause Earlier than Foremost Clause)
In all the earlier examples, the subordinate clause is in the second half of the sentence. Nevertheless, German lets you change things up and place the subordinate clause within the first half of the sentence in case you choose to take action.
- Instance: Seit dem Sturm, ist der Dach kaputt (Because the storm, the roof has been damaged)
- Example: Wenn du gehst, sag uns Bescheid (Whenever you go, tell us)
In these examples, the subordinate clauses’ verb still gets sent to the top of the clause. That stated, you may need observed some modifications in the primary clause as properly. The verb that should usually be in the second or final place now comes instantly after the comma.
You invert the topic and verb after a comma. Remembering the pattern verb, comma, verb, could make it simpler to comply with this rule. This rule could seem confusing at first because the phrase order is totally totally different from the English language.
However, the hot button is follow and turning into conversant in the word placement. Let’s look at a number of extra sentences that comply with the verb, comma, verb pattern.
- Instance: Seitdem sie angekommen ist, hat sie nur Probleme gemacht (Since she’s arrived she’s only made problems)
- Example: Wenn du Zeit brauchst, kannst du eine Pause machen (Should you need time you’ll be able to take a break)
#5 Sub-Clauses And Multiple Verbs In German
Typically you’ll have multiple verb in a sentence. If you’re coping with modal verbs, good tense, and passive, you typically have a number of verbs. Nevertheless, the identical rules apply, and the conjugated verb will come on the end of the sentence.
- Example: Ich habe keine Zeit. Ich muss noch meine Wohnung aufräumen (I don’t have time. I nonetheless have to wash up my condominium)
On this instance, there’s the conjugated modal verb muss, and the unconjugated verb aufräumen. You can mix these two clauses with a comma and the subordinate conjunction weil (as a result of) by sending muss to the top of the sentence.
The result’s, Ich habe keine Zeit, weil ich noch meine Wohnung aufräumen muss.
#6 Sub-Clauses And Separable German Verbs
Separable verbs comply with the same guidelines as different varieties of subordinate clauses. The conjugated verb still comes at the end of the sentence. In consequence, the separable prefix is not separated.
- Instance: Wenn du das Fenster aufmachst, wird es hell (When you open the window it’ll be shiny)
- Instance: Wenn du nicht aufhörst, geht das Fenster kaputt (In case you don’t cease the window will break)
When you have got an infinitive development and a verb with a separable prefix, zu comes between the verb and its prefix.
- Example: Ich versuche das Fenster abzuschliessen (I’m making an attempt to lock the window)
- Example: Ist es so schwierig aufzuräumen? (Is it so troublesome to wash up?)
Discover that the verb with zu is all the time written as one word.
#7 Infinitive Sub-Clauses In German
Infinitive clauses are a kind of subordinate clause. Often, this sentence development accommodates the infinitive type of a verb and the preposition zu or um zu.
You use infinitive clauses when the verb of the primary clause is instantly related to the verb of the subordinate clause. Often, the verbs referring to the second verb don’t have a second subject complement.
- Example: Ich versuche, die Tür zu öffnen (I’m making an attempt to open the door)
On this instance, the verb versuchen is appearing upon the verb öffnen, which is why we use the infinitive type with zu.
- Instance: Ich schlage vor, Samstag morgen Frühstücken zu gehen (I recommend we exit to eat on Saturday morning)
More often than not, we will substitute a dass clause for the infinitive and zu.
- Instance: Ich schlage vor, dass wir Samstag morgen Frühstücken gehen (I recommend that we exit for breakfast Saturday morning)
When the subject of the subordinate clause is irrelevant, or equivalent to the primary clause, you’ll be able to all the time use the infinitive + zu development. However, if you need to mention the subject as a result of a number of individuals and objects are involved, then you possibly can solely use the dass development.
Some verbs all the time require a second motion, in order that they all the time take the infinitive + zu type.
A few of these verbs are:
- aufhören (to cease)
- stoppen (to cease)
- beginnen (to start out)
- anfangen (to start out)
- verbieten (to forbid)
- vergessen (to overlook)
- versprechen (to promise)
- versuchen (to attempt)
- vorhaben (to have plans)
- warnen vor (to warn towards)
- sich weigern (to refuse)
Sub-Clauses In German Simplified
After you develop into acquainted with the above guidelines, they’ll begin to grow to be extra evident and straightforward to recognise. With follow, you’ll begin to get a feeling for a way subordinate clauses are constructed. Right here’s a quick recap of what you’ve discovered on this submit.
Keep in mind that subordinating clauses start with subordinate conjunctions similar to:
When the primary clause comes before the subordinate clause, the conjugated verb goes to the top of the sentence. The identical is true in case you have a number of verbs in a sentence or verbs with separable prefixes.
Nevertheless, in case you invert the sentence order, you must comply with the pattern verb, comma, verb.
Keep in mind that infinitive clauses with zu and infinitive constructions (um/anstatt/ohne … zu) are additionally subordinate clauses. In many instances, you’ll be able to substitute the infinitive + zu for a clause containing dass.
And if that also sounds just a little daunting, chill out and focus on your German input. Learn German books. Take heed to German podcasts. And enjoy the learning process.
Which other points of German grammar do you discover tough? Let me know within the feedback under.
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