Conjunctions in German
What is a conjunction?
A conjunction is connecting words, phrases or clauses.
- Wir nehmen es mit, denn wir finden es schön. - We take it with us, because we like it
- Wir nehmen ein Taxi oder den Bus. - We're taking a cab or a bus
- Wir brauchen kein Tee, sondern wir wollen Kaffee. - We don't need tea, we want coffee
Table of coordinating conjunction in the German language
Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect independent clauses. Thereby they don't affect the word order (structured as typical main clauses) and are generally separated by a comma from each other.
|sondern||on the contrary|
- Sie isst Huhn, denn sie mag den Geschmack gerne. - She eats chicken, because she likes the taste
- Wir legen den Koffer auf den Wagen, aber wir tragen die Tasche. - We put the bag on the trolley, but we carry the bag
No comma is necessary before “und“ or “oder“.
Interrogatives and adverbs as conjunctions in German (table of subconjunctions)
Theses conjunctions can function as subordinate conjunctions. Therefore, they introduce dependent clauses (subordinate clauses). A dependent clause is not a complete sentence and cannot stand alone. The finite verb is placed at the end of the sentence (subjunction + subject + … + finite verb).
- Sag mir, warum du nicht gerne isst. - Tell me, why don't you like to eat?
- Ich arbeite, bis ich müde werde. - I work until I get tired
Table of compound conjunctions in German
Compound conjunctions build out of two words. The clauses begin with the first part of the compound conjunctions. The second part introduces the other sentence (whether dependent or independent).
|anstatt ... zu||instead of|
|entweder ... oder||either ... or|
|weder noch||neither .. nor|
|sowohl ... als auch||as well as|
|sowohl ... wie auch||as well as|
- Entweder du gehst mit oder du bleibst zu Hause. - Either you come with or you stay at home
- Sowohl mag ich Bananen, als auch Äpfel. - I like bananas, as well as apples
Now that you have finished the lesson about conjunction, you should be able to form dependent clauses and connect two main clauses with a proper conjunction. Test your skills with our exercises.
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