Sentence construction: subordinate clauses (3)

Subordinated clause before the main clause

Subordinate clauses introduced by a conjunction can also usually be placed before the main clause. This does not change the word order in the subordinate clause. In the main clause however, the conjugated verb moves forward and is directly after the comma. The subordinate clause thus assumes the position of the first idea in the whole sentence, and the conjugated verb in the main clause is the second idea of the whole sentence.


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If the subordinate clause comes before the main clause, the general rule is as follows: the conjugated verb of the subordinate clause comes directly before the comma, and the conjugated verb of the main clause comes directly after the comma.

Here are some examples of different types of subordinate clause:
Weil Nico mit dem Fahrrad schneller ist, schenkt Yara ihm ein Fahrrad.
Dass Nico das Studium hasst, verstehen seine Eltern nicht.
Wo die Bank ist, weiß Nico schon.


Grammatical terms in German:

der Hauptsatz: In general, a main clause consists of at least a subject and a conjugated verb. It is a self-contained clause which may stand alone. In simple declarative sentences, the verb is the second idea.

der Nebensatz: A subordinate clause cannot normally stand alone. It is dependent on a superordinate main clause or another subordinate clause. The conjugated verb is normally right at the end of a subordinate clause. Many subordinate clauses are linked to the superordinate clause by certain introductory words.