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Olena Shypilova German for beginners in 7 Lessons

English edition by Yuriy Bereza

Lesson 4. Subordinate clause.


Before you start, download audio lesson with extended explanation:
http://german.eustudy.ru/en/audiofiles/eng_germ/Unterricht4_voll.mp3
Today well talk about why you do different things in your life. For example: Even
now, you are here because you want to learn German. And maybe youve just moved to
a big city where you can find a good job.

So, lets consider phrases like:


1. I learn German because Im going to Germany.
2. I work very hard so that my family has enough money.
3. He hopes that hell go to China in 2 months.
4. Shes not sure whether shell be able to live in Moscow.
5. Wed like to ask first when hell have time?
6. Im going to call you tomorrow if you dont object.
Such phrases consist from two parts.
For example: I learn German because Im going to Germany.
This sentence has two parts (sentences) as well: the main one I learn German,
and the dependent one (called subordinate clause) Im going to Germany.

According to German grammar rules, the verb always remains on the second place
in the declarative sentence:
I learn German. Ich lerne Deutsch.
I am going to Germany. Ich fahre nach Deutschland.

In the main sentence we follow the above mentioned iron rule: Ich lerne Deutsch.
In the subordinate clause you should place the verb in the very end of the
sentence, NOT on the second place! Ich nach Deutschland fahre.
Then, we link these two parts with the conjunction weil because and build up a
correct German sentence (complex sentence).

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Olena Shypilova German for beginners in 7 Lessons
English edition by Yuriy Bereza

I learn German because Im going to Germany. Ich lerne Deutsch, weil Ich nach
Deutschland fahre.
You remain home because you does not speak German well yet. Sie bleiben zu
Hause, weil Sie noch nicht gut Deutsch sprechen. (bleiben to remain, noch nicht not
yet)
Unfortunately, I am not coming because I am driving my sister to the railway-
station. Leider komme ich nicht, weil ich meine Schwester zum Bahnhof fahre. (leider
unfortunately, meine Schwester my sister, der Bahnhof railway-station, fahren to
drive, to go (by any vehicle))
What should we do if there are two verbs in the dependant part (subordinate
clause)? If we have two verbs in the subordinate clause (its called compound predicate):
ich mchte nach Deutschland fahren (I would like to go to Germany), we should put the
verb which is usually on the second place (the conjugated one) mchte in the very
end of the sentence: ich nach Deutschland fahren mchte.
I learn German because I would like to go to Germany. Ich lerne Deutsch, weil
ich nach Deutschland fahren mchte.
You remain home because you can not speak German well yet. Sie bleiben zu
Hause, weil Sie noch nicht gut Deutsch sprechen knnen. (Many Russians can hear this
sentence at the German embassy when they try to get a visa )
Unfortunately, I can not come because I should drive my sister to the railway-
station Leider kann ich nicht kommen, weil ich meine Schwester zum Bahnhof fahren
soll.

How to say I learn German so that the Germans can understand me?
These two sentences are combined by means of the conjunction
damit so that:
I learn German so that the Germans can understand me. Ich lerne Deutsch,
damit mich die Deutschen verstehen knnen. (die Deutschen the Germans, verstehen
to understand)
Say it one more time so that they dont forget it. Sag es noch einmal, damit sie
es nicht vergessen. (noch einmal one more time, once again, vergessen to forget)
I tell you this story so that you dont do my mistake. Ich erzhle dir diese
Geschichte, damit du meinen Fehler nicht machst. (diese Geschichte this story,
erzhlen to tell, to narrate, der Fehler mistake)
The teacher repeats the rule once again so that all students understand it. Der
Lehrer wiederholt die Regel noch einmal, damit alle Studenten sie verstehen.
(wiederholen to repeat, die Regel rule, verstehen to understand)

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Olena Shypilova German for beginners in 7 Lessons
English edition by Yuriy Bereza

Exercise 1. Weil or Damit?

1. Karl arbeitet am Wochenende, seine Familie genug Geld hat. (am


Wochenende on week-end, seine Familie his family, genug enough, das
Geld money)
2. Ich kann nicht mitkommen, ich sehr beschftigt bin. (mitkommen to
come along, beschftigt sein to be busy)
3. Stefanie kauft ein Auto, ihr der Weg zum Bro nicht so viel Zeit nimmt.
(kaufen to buy, das Auto car, ihr her, der Weg zum Bro the way to the
office, zu viel Zeit so much time, nehmen to take)
4. Ich kaufe immer grnen Tee, ich schwarzen Tee nicht gut finde. (grn
green, schwarz black, der Tee tee)
5. Erik studiert an der Uni, er mehr Geld verdient. (an der Uni studieren to
study at the university)
6. Monika lernt Deutsch, sie nach Deutschland gehen will.
7. Monika lernt Deutsch, sie nach Deutschland gehen kann.
8. Wir sprechen ber unsere Probleme, sie nicht grer werden. (ber
Probleme sprechen to talk about problems, grer bigger, werden to
become)
9. Wir gehen in den Park, es heute so schn ist.
10. Die Eltern nehmen einen Babysitter, sie heute Abend ausgehen knnen.
(nehmen to take, ausgehen to go out, der Abend evening)
Check up! http://german.eustudy.ru/en/Unterricht4Aufgabe1_antwort.php

Exercise 2. Weil or Damit?

1. Ich lerne Deutsch, ich deutsche Verwandte habe. (Verwandte relatives)


2. Ich lerne Deutsch, ich mit meinen Verwandten sprechen kann. (sprechen
mit to speak with, to talk to)
3. Ich studiere an der Uni, ich eine bessere Arbeit finden kann. (besser
better)
4. Ich studiere an der Uni, ich eine gute Ausbildung brauche. (brauchen to
need, die Ausbildung education)
5. Er kauft einen Computer, er Computers interessant findet. (interessant
interesting, finden to find)
6. Er kauft einen Computer, er im Internet surfen kann. (im Internet surfen

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Olena Shypilova German for beginners in 7 Lessons
English edition by Yuriy Bereza

to surf the Internet)


7. Wir fahren nicht mit dem Rad, wir es nicht nach Hause tragen. (mit dem
Rad fahren to ride a bicycle, nach Hause home (direction), tragen to carry)
8. Wir fahren nicht mit dem Rad, es Winter ist. (der Winter winter)
Check up! http://german.eustudy.ru/en/Unterricht4Aufgabe2_antwort.php

Question Wozu? what for?


If we use conjunctions weil and damit, we have a subject both in the main and the
subordinate clause: Ich mache das, weil ich das richtig finde (I do it because I find it right).
But after wozu-question we wont have any subject in the second part even in English:
What do you do sport for? Wozu treiben Sie Sport?
I do sport to remain healthy. Ich treibe Sport, um gesund zu bleiben.
I would like to go to Germany to earn money for my study. Ich mchte nach
Deutschland fahren, um Geld fr mein Studium zu verdienen.
He would like to know more to find a job. Er mchte mehr wissen, um einen Job
zu finden.
Would you like to save money to fly to the USA? Mchtest du Geld sparen, um
in die USA zu fliegen? (sparen to save, fliegen to fly)
Youve certainly noticed that we dont have any subject in the subordinate part of
the sentence. Such constructions are very popular in German and very simple at the same
time.

Complex sentences like:


I know that the train arrives at 9 sharp. Ich wei, dass der Zug Punkt 9
ankommt. (Punkt 9 at 9 sharp, ankommen to arrive)
Hes not sure whether hell fly to Germany in two days. Er ist nicht sicher, ob er
in zwei Tagen nach Deutschland fliegt.
Well do this when you say. Wir machen es, wann du sagst.
Ill talk to him if you dont object. Ich spreche mit ihm, wenn du nichts dagegen
hast.
What should we do with them? How should we compose them? Remember:
For the subordinate clause the rule is anyway the same: the verb goes to the very
end of the sentence. If we have two verbs, the conjugated verb should be the last
one.

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Olena Shypilova German for beginners in 7 Lessons
English edition by Yuriy Bereza

Lets summarize our pleasing results


If you did it and if youve understood that German is ABSOLUTELY simple, wed
love to invite you to our next lesson and look forward to see you at our site again.

Additional materials on the topic


Watch a video-clip about how the Germans (often!) make mistakes themselves
when composing complex sentences: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8glSCGXTZs. In
the video a German teacher draws a very illustrative scheme and shows that verb should
be before the point in a complex sentence.
The sentence in the video contains a mistake:
Wir sind der beste Radiosender, weil bei uns gibt es die beste Musik We are the
best radio station because at ours there is the best music.
Idiom es gibt means there is/are: es gibt berall gute Leute there are good
people everywhere, es gibt einen Baum im Garten there is a tree in the garden. Its part
gibt is the he-form of the verb geben (to give). As a part of that idiom it has no self-
meaning but remains still a verb and thus, should be in the end of the sentence. Anyway,
remember the idiom es gibt; it will surely enlarge your vocabulary.
Watching the video, just listen to the Germans speaking, and focus on the sentence
structures, dont try to translate or to understand everything. If youll be able to recognize
words or phrases youve learned, you can be proud of yourself youre doing right!

For us its rather important to know what difficulties you face when having our course. So, we
thankfully accept every comment or critics via Skype (eustudy.ru) or e-mail (contact@eustudy.ru).

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