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Home > Grammar > Conjunctions in German

Conjunctions in German

Coordinate, subordinate and compound conjunctions

in German Coordinate, subordinate and compound conjunctions 1 Coordinate Conjunctions (Koordinierende Konjunktionen) 2
in German Coordinate, subordinate and compound conjunctions 1 Coordinate Conjunctions (Koordinierende Konjunktionen) 2
in German Coordinate, subordinate and compound conjunctions 1 Coordinate Conjunctions (Koordinierende Konjunktionen) 2
in German Coordinate, subordinate and compound conjunctions 1 Coordinate Conjunctions (Koordinierende Konjunktionen) 2

1 Coordinate Conjunctions

(Koordinierende Konjunktionen)

2 Subordinate Conjunctions

3 Compound Conjunctions

2 Subordinate Conjunctions 3 Compound Conjunctions Coordinate   Subordinate Compound

Coordinate

 

Subordinate

Compound

conjunctions

conjunctions

conjunctions

aber

als

ob

sowie

weder

noch

beziehungsweise

bevor

obwohl

während

anstatt zu

denn

bis

seit

weil

entweder oder

oder

dass

seitdem

wenn

sowohl

als

sondern

damit

sobald

wie

(auch)

und

nachdem

sofern

wo

sowohl

wie

soweit

(auch)

je

desto

zwar

aber

1. Coordinate Conjunctions (Koordinierende

Konjunktionen)

The coordinate conjunctions do not modify the position of the verb in the clause. The most common ones are:

Coordinate

conjunction

Meaning

aber

but

beziehungsweise

better put respectively

denn

because

then

oder

or

sondern

but but rather

und

and

abern n because then oder or sondern but but rather und and It means "but". Die

It means "but".

Die Hose ist schön, aber zu klein The pants are pretty but too small aber zu klein The pants are pretty but too small

Er ist klug, aber faul He’s smart but lazy aber faul He’s smart but lazy

Das Angebot ist super, aber wir haben keine Zeit The offer is great but we don’t have time aber wir haben keine Zeit The offer is great but we don’t have time

beziehungsweisekeine Zeit The offer is great but we don’t have time It means "better put" or

It means "better put" or "respectively" and is abbreviated often as bzw.

Ein Auto habe ich beziehungsweise meine Frau hat eins

I have a car or, better put, my wife has one.

Die Disko ist heute billiger für Frauen und Männer. Es kostet 7 Euro bzw. 10 Euro. bzw. 10 Euro.

The disco is cheaper today for women and men. It costs 7 and 10 Euros,

respectively

dennfor women and men. It costs 7 and 10 Euros, respectively It means then/because, etc. Ich

It means then/because, etc.

Ich weinte, denn ich hatte kein Geld denn ich hatte kein Geld

I cried because I didn’t have money

Synonymns: weil

oderGeld I cried because I didn’t have money Synonymns: weil Means "or" Ich weiß nicht, ob

Means "or"

Ich weiß nicht, ob ich lachen oder weinen soll oder weinen soll

I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry

Wer fängt an, du oder ich? Who starts, you or me? oder ich? Who starts, you or me?

sondernor cry Wer fängt an, du oder ich? Who starts, you or me? Means "but" or

Means "but" or "but rather"

Das Haus ist nicht alt, sondern neu The house is not old but new sondern neu The house is not old but new

undist nicht alt, sondern neu The house is not old but new It means "and" Meine

It means "and"

Meine Freunde und ich wollen ins Kino gehen My friends and I want to go to the und ich wollen ins Kino gehen My friends and I want to go to the cinema

2. Subordinate Conjunctions

Subordinate conjunctions help to form subordinate clauses. One of the most interesting things about German is that the verb is placed in the last position of the clause in subordinate clauses (Main article: Sentence structure in German)

Subordinate

 

conjunction

Meaning

als

when

bevor

before

bis

until

dass

that

damit

so that

nachdem

after

ob

whether

if

obwohl

although

seitdem

since

sobald

as soon as

sofern

provided that as long as

soweit

insofar as

sowie

as soon as

während

while

weil

because

wenn

if

wie

how

wo

where

alsbecause wenn if wie how wo where It means "when" if it is a subordinate conjunction.

It means "when" if it is a subordinate conjunction. Careful: It’s used only in the past and when the past event only took place one time (temporal conjunction)

Als ich Kind war, wohnte ich in München When I was a child, I lived in ich Kind war, wohnte ich in München When I was a child, I lived in Munich

"Als" is also used for the construction of the comparative of superiority:

Er ist stärker als ich He is stronger than me stärker als ich He is stronger than me

bevorEr ist stärker als ich He is stronger than me It means "before" (temporal conjunction to

It means "before" (temporal conjunction to show previous action or event)

Woran denkst du, bevor du einschläfst? What do you think about before you fall asleep? bevor du einschläfst? What do you think about before you fall asleep?

bisWhat do you think about before you fall asleep? It means "until" (temporal conjunction to show

It means "until" (temporal conjunction to show subsequent action or event) "Bis" can act as a subordinate conjunction:

Warte, bis du gesund bist Wait until you are healthy bis du gesund bist Wait until you are healthy

or as a preposition:

Bis in den Tod until death in den Tod until death

dasshealthy or as a preposition : Bis in den Tod until death It can be translated

It can be translated into English as "that" and is used to start a new subordinate clause.

Ich denke, dass die deutsche Sprache kompliziert ist dass die deutsche Sprache kompliziert ist

I think that the German language is complicated

dass vs das

Sometimes English speakers confuse "das" (relative pronoun) and "dass" (conjunction). The reason for this is because we use "that" for both words.

"das" is used to make relative clauses, which are used to give more information about a noun (Example: the noun "book"):

Das ist das Buch, das ich gerade lese This is the book that I am reading This is the book that I am reading

dass is to make common subordinate clauses where more information is given with a verb (Example: the verb to say)

Ich habe dir gesagt, dass er heute kommtinformation is given with a verb (Example: the verb to say) I told you that he’s

I told you that he’s coming today

damitdass er heute kommt I told you that he’s coming today It means "so that" (conjunction

It means "so that" (conjunction of purpose)

Ich spare, damit meine Familie einen Mercedes kaufen kann damit meine Familie einen Mercedes kaufen kann

I am saving money so that my family can buy a Mercedes

nachdemkann I am saving money so that my family can buy a Mercedes It means "after"

It means "after" (temporal conjunction)

Nachdem wir aufgestanden waren, haben wir gepackt After we got up, we packed our bags After we got up, we packed our bags

obhaben wir gepackt After we got up, we packed our bags It means “whether/if” in the

It means “whether/if” in the context of indirect questions or to show doubt.

Er hat dich gefragt, ob du ins Kino gehen möchtest He asked you if you wanted to go to ob du ins Kino gehen möchtest He asked you if you wanted to go to the cinema

Common mistakes: Confusing the use of ob and wenn

obwohlthe cinema Common mistakes: Confusing the use of ob and wenn It means "although" or "even

It means "although" or "even though" (concessive conjunction)

Ich mag Kinder, obwohl ich keine habe obwohl ich keine habe

I like kids even though I don’t have any

seitich keine habe I like kids even though I don’t have any It means "since" (temporal

It means "since" (temporal conjunction). Seit can act as a subordinate conjunction:

Ich wohne in Köln, seit ich geboren bin I’ve been living in Cologne since I was born seit ich geboren bin I’ve been living in Cologne since I was born

or as a preposition (seit + Dative):

Er wohnt jetzt seit 2 Jahren in diesem Haus He’s been living in this house for two years seit 2 Jahren in diesem Haus He’s been living in this house for two years

seitdemdiesem Haus He’s been living in this house for two years It means "since" (temporal conjunction)

It means "since" (temporal conjunction)

Ich habe keine Heizung, seitdem ich in Spanien wohne seitdem ich in Spanien wohne

I haven’t had heating since I’ve been living in Spain

sobaldI haven’t had heating since I’ve been living in Spain It means "as soon as" (temporal

It means "as soon as" (temporal conjunction)

Ich informiere dich, sobald ich kann I’ll inform you as soon as I can

soferndich, sobald ich kann I’ll inform you as soon as I can It means "as long

It means "as long as" (temporal conjunction)

Wir versuchen zu helfen, sofern es möglich ist We will try to help as long as it’s possible sofern es möglich ist We will try to help as long as it’s possible

sovielmöglich ist We will try to help as long as it’s possible It means "as much

It means "as much as" or "for all"

Soviel ich weiß, ist sie in Berlin geboren For all I know, she was born in ich weiß, ist sie in Berlin geboren For all I know, she was born in Berlin

soweitin Berlin geboren For all I know, she was born in Berlin It means "as far

It means "as far as"

Soweit ich mich erinnern kann, war er Pilot As far as I remember, he was a ich mich erinnern kann, war er Pilot As far as I remember, he was a pilot

sowiekann, war er Pilot As far as I remember, he was a pilot It means "as

It means "as soon as"

Ich schicke dir das Dokument, sowie es fertig ist I’ll send you the document as soon as it’s finished sowie es fertig ist I’ll send you the document as soon as it’s finished

währendist I’ll send you the document as soon as it’s finished It means "while" or "during"

It means "while" or "during" (temporal). While can act as a subordinate conjunction:

Während ich studierte, lernte ich auch Deutsch While I was studying, I was also learning German

or as a preposition (während + Genitive):

Während meiner Jugendzeit war ich in Basel During my youth I was in Basel meiner Jugendzeit war ich in Basel During my youth I was in Basel

weilJugendzeit war ich in Basel During my youth I was in Basel It means "because" (causal

It means "because" (causal conjunction)

Sie arbeitet heute nicht, weil sie krank ist She doesn’t work today because she’s sick weil sie krank ist She doesn’t work today because she’s sick

Synonyms: denn

wennShe doesn’t work today because she’s sick Synonyms: denn It means "if" but only in certain

It means "if" but only in certain cases. For example: "If you want to go with us, you can." Expressing doubt would require "ob". For example: " I don’t know if you’d like to come with us." It also means "whenever" (conditional conjunction)

Wenn du möchtest, kannst du Deutsch lernen If you want, you can learn German (context of du möchtest, kannst du Deutsch lernen If you want, you can learn German (context of "if" or "in case")

Wenn ich singe, fühle ich mich viel besser If I sing, I feel much better (context ich singe, fühle ich mich viel besser If I sing, I feel much better (context of "whenever I sing

")

Common mistakes: Confusing the use of "wenn" and "ob".

wieConfusing the use of "wenn" and "ob". It means "how" (modal conjunction): Ich weiß

It means "how" (modal conjunction):

Ich weiß nicht, wie ich es auf Deutsch sagen kann wie ich es auf Deutsch sagen kann

I don’t know how to say it in German

or for expressions of equality:

Peter ist so dünn wie Tomas Peter is as thin as Tomas so dünn wie Tomas Peter is as thin as Tomas

woPeter ist so dünn wie Tomas Peter is as thin as Tomas It means "where" (local

It means "where" (local conjunction)

Ich weiß nicht, wo er Deutsch gelernt hat wo er Deutsch gelernt hat

I don’t know where he learned German

3. Compound Conjunctions

Compound conjunctions are formed by 2 words:

Compound

 

conjunction

Meaning

anstatt

zu

instead of [subordinate]

entweder

oder

either

or

 

[coordinate]

weder noch

neither

nor

[coordinate]

weder noch

as well as [subordinate]

sowohl

als (auch)

as well as [subordinate]

sowohl

wie (auch)

as well as [subordinate]

anstattsowohl wie (auch) as well as [subordinate] zu It means "instead of" Ich würde 2 Wochen

zu

It means "instead of"

Ich würde 2 Wochen am Strand liegen, anstatt zu arbeiten anstatt zu arbeiten

I would be lying on the beach for 2 weeks instead of working

entwederI would be lying on the beach for 2 weeks instead of working oder It means

oder

It means "either… or"

Entweder bist du Teil der Lösung, oder du bist Teil des Problems Either you’re part of bist du Teil der Lösung, oder du bist Teil des Problems Either you’re part of the solution or you’re part of the problem

Die Hose ist entweder schwarz oder rot The pants are either black or red entweder schwarz oder rot The pants are either black or red

wederschwarz oder rot The pants are either black or red noch It means "neither… nor" Weder

noch

It means "neither… nor"

Weder du noch ich haben eine Lösung Neither you nor I have a solution du noch ich haben eine Lösung Neither you nor I have a solution

sowohlich haben eine Lösung Neither you nor I have a solution als (auch) It means "as

als (auch)

It means "as well as"

Ich habe sowohl schon einen Mercedes als auch einen Audi gehabt sowohl schon einen Mercedes als auch einen Audi gehabt

I have had a Mercedes as well as an Audi

sowohleinen Audi gehabt I have had a Mercedes as well as an Audi wie (auch) It

wie (auch)

It means "as well as"

Ich habe sowohl ein Auto wie auch ein Motorrad sowohl ein Auto wie auch ein Motorrad

I have a car as well as a motorcycle

Next Lessons:

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German | Greetings 11 Comments Article 1 Next > #11 [Eli Hoffman] 2018-05-14 20:53 What about
German | Greetings 11 Comments Article 1 Next > #11 [Eli Hoffman] 2018-05-14 20:53 What about
German | Greetings 11 Comments Article 1 Next > #11 [Eli Hoffman] 2018-05-14 20:53 What about
German | Greetings 11 Comments Article 1 Next > #11 [Eli Hoffman] 2018-05-14 20:53 What about

#11 [Eli Hoffman]

2018-05-14 20:53

What about danach, because I am listing things that I did yesterday and I don't want to have to keep saying then (denn) I went to the store and the next sentence be after that (danach) every single sentence after denn and using denn every single sentence after danach.

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