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You will have to surpass a handful of grammar hurdles in order to secure a thorough knowledge in German language. It means that he/she should mug up each and everything teaching at the German Language Classes and should learn noun genders, sentence structure and adjective endings correctly.

It can be certainly entertaining if you use movies or books to learn grammar sore points, but finally, you will understand that you have to sit down and run through certain elementary points on the trot. For a learner, this process will be quite mind-numbing, but unluckily occasionally it has to be done. This blog speaks about one of the grammar topics – subordinate conjunctions – that even the advanced German utterers may struggle while using in contexts.

Before going deep into the subordinate conjunctions, he/she should be clear about the subordinate clauses, i.e., what exactly is a subordinate clause?

A subordinate clause is one of the linchpins of a compound sentence. The below given formula make the things clear for you:

Complex sentence = main clause + subordinate clause

So, it will be something like this in a real sentence.

Ich muss schlafen, weil ich krank bin.

I want to sleep because I am ill.

The above given example comprises of a main clause: Ich muss schlafen (I want to sleep). By adding a second clause—or, subordinate clause—weil ich krank bin (because I am ill) stretches the sentence and makes a lengthy, compound sentence, created with the help of two clauses.

The important matter that remains in the minds of learners is the place of the verb in the subordinate clause. If we take into consideration the example “weil ich krank bin”, we can easily make out that the verb—in this example bin (am)—is in the last part of the clause. If somebody translates the German sentence to English language (literally), it will be like- “I need to sleep because I ill am.” It is sure that we won’t be translating in this ways.

How to Cheerfully Handle German Subordinating Conjunctions

In the above given example —Ich muss schlafen, weil ich krank bin—the usage of “weil” (because) – plays a pivotal role in the sentence. So, the use of the word “weil” is one of the key reasons for sending the verb to the end of the clause. As it combines two clauses, the grammatical term for the word is a “subordinate conjunction”.

Subordinate conjunctions will send the verb to the end of a sentence, i.e., in a subordinate clause or non –subordinate clause. If you begin a sentence with a subordinate conjunction, you’re heading for changing the word order of the following clause. Regrettably, there’s no particular rule that you can study for finding out the subordinate conjunctions. Some of the useful German subordinating Conjunctions are given below.


Meaning: Before

Ruf mich an, bevor wir in die Stadt gehen.
Give me a call before we go to town.


Meaning: Until

Ich warte, bis du wieder da bist.
I won’t tell him, until you inform us.


Meaning: That

Ich hoffe, dass du uns noch lange erhalten bleibst.
I hope that you stay with us for a long time yet.


Meaning: So that

Ich nehme einen Tag frei, damit wir uns treffen können.
I’ll take the day off so that we can meet up.


Meaning: During

Während der Stunde haben wir viel geredet.
We talked a lot during the lesson.


Meaning: Because

Ich bin verspätet, weil ich verschlafen habe.
I am late because I slept in.


Meaning: As soon

Können Sie mich bitte anrufen, sobald es Ihnen möglich ist.
Can you please call me at your earliest convenience.


Meaning: In case, provided that

Sofern nicht anders vereinbart.
Except when it’s been agreed upon differently.


Meaning: Insofar as

Soweit ich weiß.
As far as I know.

The grammar topic discussed in the blog will be really useful if you wish to pass the German language learning with flying colors. Your oral and written language will rely on it!

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