Subordinate clauses with/without an introductory word

SA4

 

Subordinate clauses introduced by a conjunction

 

Subordinate clauses that are introduced by a conjunction are linked to the main clause through an introductory word. Based on this introductory word, subordinate clauses fall into two categories: the Subjunktionalsätze (subordinating conjunction clauses) and the Pronominalsätze (pronominal clauses).

 

 

Subjunktionalsätze (subordinating conjunction clauses)

 

These subordinate clauses are introduced by a subordinating conjunction.

 

  Examples  
Er behauptet, dass er am Unfall nicht schuld ist. with a conjunction and a finite verb form
Ich gehe heute nicht zur Arbeit, weil ich Fieber habe.
Ich spare Geld, um ein neues Auto zu kaufen. with a conjunction and a non-finite verb form (infinitive)

 

Subjunktionalsätzen (subordinating conjunction clauses) follow the word order type 3 (Stellungstyp 3) i.e. the finite or the non-finite verb form are at the final position of the clause. The syntactic roles of the Subjunktionalsätzen (subordinating conjunction clauses) include those of a subject, an object and an adverbial to the main clause.

 


 

 

Pronominalsätze (pronominal clauses)

 

Pronominalsätze (pronominal clauses) are clauses that are introduced by :

 

1. relative pronouns (also combined with a preposition)

 

  Example
Das ist die Frau, der ich beim Umzug geholfen habe.
So sieht die Frau aus, von der ich träume.

 

2. interrogative pronouns (also combined with a preposition)

 

  Example
Ich finde heraus, was passiert ist.
Er weiß nicht, mit wem ich wohne.

 

3. interrogative adverbs

 

  Example
Er weiß nicht, wo ich wohne.

 

4. pronominal adverbs.

 

  Example
Das ist das Cafe΄, wovon ich dir erzählt habe.

 

 

Pronominalsätzen (pronominal clauses) follow the word order type 3 (Stellungstyp 3) i.e. the finite or the non-finite verb forms are at the final position of the clause. The syntactic roles of the Pronominalsätzen (pronominal clauses) include those of a subject, an object and an attributive adjective to the main clause or to the argument on which they depend (relative clauses and 2nd grade subordinate clauses).

 


 

 

Subordinate clauses without a conjunction

 

Subordinate clauses that are not introduced by a conjunction are linked to the main clause without an introductory word. According to their function, these clauses fall into two categories: the subject/object clauses and the adverbial clauses.

 

 

Subject/object clauses

 

The subject/object clauses that are not introduced by a conjunction can be replaced by dass-clauses.

 

  Examples  
Er behauptet, er sei am Unfall nicht schuld. object clause without a conjunction
Er behauptet, dass er am Unfall nicht schuld ist. dass-clause
Es ist besser, du fährst mit dem Bus zu mir. subject clause without a conjunction
Es ist besser, dass du mit dem Bus zu mir fährst. dass-clause

 

Subject/object clauses without a conjunction follow the word order type 1 (Stellungstyp 1) i.e. the finite verb form is in the second position of the subordinate clause.

 


 

 

Adverbial clauses

 

Adverbial clauses that are not introduced by a conjunction are conditional and concessive subordinate clauses. These clauses always precede the main clause.

 

 

Conditional clauses without an introductory conjunction

 

  Examples  
Ist das Wetter gut, machen wir einen Ausflug. conditional clauses without an introductory conjunction
Wenn das Wetter gut ist, machen wir einen Ausflug. conditional clauses with an introductory conjunction

 

Conditional clauses without a conjunction follow the word order type 2 (Stellungstyp 2) i.e. the finite verb form is in the first position in the subordinate clause.

 


 

 

Concessive clauses without an introductory conjunction

 

  Examples  
Ist das Wetter auch schlecht, wir machen trotzdem einen Ausflug. concessive clauses without an introductory conjunction
Obwohl das Wetter schlecht ist, machen wir einen Ausflug. concessive clauses with an introductory conjunction

 

Concessive clauses without a conjunction follow the word order type 2 (Stellungstyp 2) i.e. the finite verb form is in the first position of the subordinate clause. The word auch is contained in the subordinate clause; the use of the words trotzdem, doch or dennoch in the main clause is optional.

 

Finally, and as an exception to the general rule, the finite verb form of the main clause is, at most times, in the second position.

 

  Examples  
Ist das Wetter auch schlecht, wir machen trotzdem einen Ausflug. verb in the 2nd position
Ist das Wetter auch schlecht, machen wir trotzdem einen Ausflug. verb in 1st position