German Conjunctions - A Complete Guide

May 5th, 2023 - Vera

In German, conjunctions are words that connect two or more clauses or sentences, indicating the relationship between them. They play an important role in creating complex and sophisticated sentences. There are different types of conjunctions in German, each with its own use cases and rules. In this article, we will explore the most common German conjunctions and their use cases.

1. Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions in German connect clauses or sentences that have equal grammatical status. They are used to indicate a simple relationship between the clauses, such as addition, contrast, or alternative. Some common coordinating conjunctions in German are und (and), oder (or), aber (but), and denn (because). Let’s take a look at some examples:

Example: Ich trinke gerne Kaffee und esse gerne Kuchen. (I like to drink coffee and eat cake.)

Example: Möchtest du Tee oder Kaffee? (Would you like tea or coffee?)

Example: Ich mag Pizza, aber ich esse sie nicht gerne kalt. (I like pizza, but I don’t like eating it cold.)

Example: Ich gehe ins Kino, denn ich möchte den neuen Film sehen. (I’m going to the cinema because I want to see the new movie.)

2. Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions in German connect clauses of unequal grammatical status, indicating a dependent relationship between them. They are used to express time, cause, purpose, condition, or concession. Some common subordinating conjunctions in German are weil (because), wenn (if/when), obwohl (although), and damit (so that). Let’s take a look at some examples:

Example: Ich bleibe zu Hause, weil ich krank bin. (I’m staying at home because I’m sick.)

Example: Wenn ich Zeit habe, gehe ich gerne spazieren. (When I have time, I like to go for a walk.)

Example: Ich mag Schokolade, obwohl sie ungesund ist. (I like chocolate, although it’s unhealthy.)

Example: Ich lerne Deutsch, damit ich in Deutschland arbeiten kann. (I’m learning German so that I can work in Germany.)

3. Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions in German connect two elements that are equal in importance and structure. They are often used to emphasize a point or create balance in a sentence. Some common correlative conjunctions in German are entweder…oder (either…or), weder…noch (neither…nor), and sowohl…als auch (both…and). Let’s take a look at some examples:

Example: Entweder du kommst mit uns ins Kino, oder du bleibst zu Hause. (Either you come with us to the cinema, or you stay at home.)

Example: Ich trinke weder Kaffee noch Tee. (I don’t drink coffee or tea.)

-Sowohl…als auch (both…and) - used to indicate the presence of two elements.

Example: Ich esse sowohl Fleisch als auch Gemüse. (I eat both meat and vegetables.)

4. Adversative Conjunctions

Adversative conjunctions in German are used to express a contrast or opposition between two clauses or sentences. They are often used to show a contradiction or disagreement. Some common adversative conjunctions in German are doch (however), sondern (but rather), and jedoch (however). Let’s take a look at some examples:

Example: Ich habe viel gelernt, doch ich habe die Prüfung nicht bestanden. (I studied a lot, however, I didn’t pass the exam.)

Example: Ich esse nicht gerne Fleisch, sondern lieber Fisch. (I don’t like eating meat, but rather fish.)

Example: Das Essen war lecker, jedoch war der Service nicht gut. (The food was delicious, however, the service wasn’t good.)

5. Comparative Conjunctions

Comparative conjunctions in German are used to express a comparison between two or more things or ideas. They are often used to indicate a similarity or difference. Some common comparative conjunctions in German are als (than) and wie (as). Let’s take a look at some examples:

Example: Mein Haus ist größer als dein Haus. (My house is bigger than your house.)

Example: Er ist so groß wie sein Vater. (He is as tall as his father.)

In conclusion, conjunctions play a vital role in creating complex and sophisticated sentences in German. By mastering the different types of conjunctions and their use cases, you can improve your German language skills and communicate more effectively in both spoken and written forms.

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