Dependent clauses in German
What is a dependent clause?
A dependent clause always depends on a main clause. Therefore, a dependent clause never occurs alone. Comparing a main clause to a dependent clause, the verb in a dependent clause is always placed at the end of a sentence.
Relative clauses in German
A relative clause is a dependent clause. The finite verb has to be placed in the last position. You will always find a comma in order to separate the relative clause from the main clause.
Das ist mein Cousin, den ich am Meisten mag. (That is my cousin, that I like the most)
Lisa, die groß ist, stellt sich in die letzte Reihe. (Lisa, who is tall, is standing in the last row)
A conditional sentence consists of a wenn-(if)-clause and a conclusion. The wenn-clause is the dependent clause of the conditional sentence.
Wenn du mich magst, hilfst du mir. (If you like me, you will help me)
Wenn du morgen Zeit hast, gehen wir ins Kino. (If you have time tomorrow, we go to the cinema)
Indirect questions are embedded within the structure of another sentence. They are often placed right after a introduction part.
Kannst du mir sagen, wie die Aufgabe zu lösen ist? (real question) (Can you tell me, how the exercise is to be solved?)
Sie fragt, ob alle morgen Zeit haben. (not a real question) (She asks, if everybody is off tomorrow)
The indirect speech is used in order to report what somebody said. The indirect speech consist of a introduction and a dependent clause in the subjunctive I.
Sie sagt(e), sie habe die Aufgabe alleine gelöst. (She said, she solved the exercise alone)
Sie meint(e), sie habe den Kuchen nicht alleine gegessen. (She says, she didn't eat the cake alone)
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