Can any body explain why a comma is used after "Er sieht"? As an English speaker, this is difficult for me to understand.
This is required German punctuation between a main clause and a subordinate clause.
So German punctuation will separate a subject and verb from a direct object? That's what threw me off as well.
Here's a link to an English-language discussion about German punctuation marks. Scroll down to "Das Komma" and "linking clauses" :
EDIT: reply to twitterbug
You are correct. The UTexas webpage doesn't discuss independent/dependent clauses.
Below is an explanation in the original French accompanied by my English translation.
paragraph 1.3.12 Remarque sur la ponctuation [Note about punctuation]
En allemand, on place toujours une virgule entre la proposition principale et la proposition subordonnée.
[In German, one always puts a comma between the main clause and the subordinate clause.]
- Ich weiß, dass ich Recht habe.
- Sie haben angerufen, um uns einzuladen.
Il n’y as pas de virgule devant un infinitif sans complément, il peut se trouver une virgule devant une proposition infinitive.
[There is no comma before an infinitive without a complement. A comma can be placed before an infinitive clause.]
- Sie hat mir versprochen wiederzukommen.
- Sie hat mir versprochen(,) nächstes Wochenende wiederzukommen.
(Allemand - Grammaire pratique de l'étudiant, Heinz Bouillant, page 228)
That a great article, although I'm still a little confused about one thing. The article said German punctuation will allow two independent clauses to be connected by a coma. However, in this sentence, it is connecting an independent clause with a dependent clause (which is actually acting as the direct object of the independent clause). Did the article leave that usage out? (I'm hoping so because it would be a whole lot easier to remember).
Thank you for your help, and sorry to go all English grammarian on you.
See my edited comment, instead of a reply, to avoid losing space to another indent.
Thank you so much for that explanation of the rule. I understand it now...the hard part will be remembering it.
Hi ive got a way that might make it easier to remember - my german teacher always used to tell us that the other words used to hate the ' 'weil' and other words like that because it was 'vile ' (pronunciation), and the comma would protect the words. I dunno if this helps x :-)
The comma is not used for the "er sieht". But in front of every "dass" (with 2 "s") is a comma.
Can someone please explain the reason of the word order in this sentence? Thanks
"Er sieht" - "He sees". So far, so clear, I hope.
And the second part of the sentence, without dass ("that") would be "Du hast ein Buch" ("you have a book"), right?
But between those two parts of the sentence, there's dass, which changes everything. Or well, not everything, but a little. It's a subordinating conjunction (like weil, seit, obwohl, etc.), which means two things:
1. it has to be preceeded by a comma (= "Er sieht, dass"),
2. it pushes the verb to the end of the clause. The verb in this case is "hast". Everything else stays the same.
So instead of "Er sieht, dass du [hast] ein Buch", it is now "Er sieht, dass du ein Buch hast".
Wow...the Duolingo staff should remove their explanation and copy-and-paste yours!
Just when I thought I was getting a grip on German grammar it throws in a wobbly like subordinating conjunctions!
Thank-you for this very clear explanation about dass (rather than das) being a subordinating conjunction
is it affecting the speaking too? I mean, when I speak - should I hold a bit after the first parts?
Yes, the comma is "spoken". Mind you though, that change is minimal. You can make it as weak or strong as you like, but for language learners, many commas will be hardly noticeable in the speech of most native speakers (just like in any other language, really). In this case ("er sieht, dass..."), the t of "sieht" and the d of "dass" just mix together into a slightly stronger stronger "d" when I say it, whereas in a sentence like "er sieht das Haus", they come together into a normal "d".
Correct, this is called ellision, to facilitate smooth pronunciation.
Now it's just a matter of retaining this on my road to speaking German fluently.
Great explanation, thank you. Is there a list of subordinating conjunctions, i.e. those conjunctions that send the verb to the end?
it's the long list on the right hand side. I haven't checked it for completeness, but I guess even if a few are missing, it's most important to know what kind of word has this power rather than to know each single word on a list :)
thanks. I understand what you mean about getting to know which are the "powerful" types, capable of banishing the verb to the end!
So, my understanding is that in any sentence if you have a subordinate conjuction it will always push the verb at the end?
and could you pleas explain me this clause: Wenn sie kommt, essen wir! Here is Verb after coma. thank you
In that case, the subordinate clause is first.
wenn sie kommt starts with the conjuncation wenn, and has the verb kommt at the end.
That entire subordinate clause takes up the first position in the main clause, and so the verb comes immediately after it in order to be in the second position where it belongs.
So Wenn sie kommt, essen wir! is grammatically similar to Jetzt essen wir -- in both cases, essen is in the second position, only that in one case, the first position is just one word jetzt, on the other an entire clause wenn sie kommt.
what is the difference between ''das'' and ''dass''? I know ''das'' is an article for neuter nouns, but I thought ''das'' could also be used as that?
Yes, "das" is being used as "that" as well, however the "that" used for connecting of a main and subordinate clause is a different word and that is "dass". This doesn't apply to German only, but for (most of) the Slavic languages as well. And it isn't possible to leave it out as in English.
"Dass" doesn't easily get along with verbs, so she kicks them to the end of the sentences.
What is the difference between "dass" and "das" when they both seem to mean "that"
Das means "that" only when it is not a subordinating conjunction. "Das ist gut." is "That is good." This is used as a demonstrative pronoun. (Of course, "das Buch" is "the book". There it is used as a definite article.) "dass" is always "that" when used as a subordinating conjunction. "I know that it is good." is "Ich weiß, dass das gut ist." ( Technically, that is "I know that that is good." but in German they can get away with it better because they have two different words. ) or literally "Ich weiß, dass es gut ist."
Where can I learn about word order in German? I've been having a difficult time understanding the reasoning
In English, this verb form is not used with certain verbs of perception including all the senses: see, feel, hear, touch, smell. Although, "he is seeing her" is an expression meaning that "he is dating her". It doesn't take a second to see that someone has something, after that you already have the information in your brain. You could continue to see that person, but the perception is already received. So, it is incorrect in English.
What other circumstances are there where you're supposed to talk like Yoda?
I just want to add to this discussion that it is perfectly fine in English to omit the "that." E.g. *He sees you have a book." However, it is not accepted. In the interest of representing what a real native speaker would say, and also for the sake of timed practice, I reported it (June 3, 2019).
If I go to Germany and accidentally say, "Er sieht dass du hast ein Buch," will people understand me? Would it sound like, "The book orange," instead of "the orange book?"
During conversation, do I have to make a pause, since there is a comma, or can I speak like there were no comma?
Great question. During a typical conversation, the pause is still there, however it is much less noticable than Duolingo says it. Still, don't neglect the comma. Its main use in this type of sentence isn't to put a pause (even though that's quite important too), but instead to seperate the clauses from each other, which is basic German grammar.
Okay i have seen this rule in a lot of German sentences, but why is Buch and hast swapped. Can someone explain.
I'm wondering if the native German speakers will pause when they meet this kind of commas (showing main clause and the sub one). Do they really pause shortly or just ignore it?
Because "that" here is a conjunction -- joining the clause "you have a book" to the clause "he sees".
German spells the conjunction dass.
It's an artificial spelling distinction, a bit like "to" versus "too" in English. (We can't say "you are to loud" or "you are going too a park", though in German the word is still the same: du bist
zu laut; du gehst
zu einem Park.)
The comma is interesting, still confuses me coming from English. The spoke punctuation is the same, and some people put a comma before 'that' in a sentence like this, but this is incorrect in terms of the written language. E.g.: - I see, that you have a book. (Wrong Engslish, correct German) - I see that you have a book. (Correct English, wrong German?) Is the comma strictly required in German, or is it just common practice? I know that Russian requires a comma there as well.
It throws a whole new light on English punctuation - because it means the loss of that comma in written English is historically incorrect (given English has Germanic roots).
Another version, to show what all is going on here: Sie sehen, dass du einen Hund hast. They see that you have a dog. Correct me if needed, please!
I don't understand why in German they sometime put verbs after the noun instead of putting the verb before the noun.
When you are talking to a person, how do you know when they say "das", and when they say "dass"?
That is a slightly different sentence "I see a book you have." is short for "I see a book that you have."
In this sentence the emphasis is not just on the book. In your version, I am adding information about the book. In this sentence, I see something about you.
"I see that you have a book." could be shortened to " I see you have a book." In German, they cannot omit the subordinating conjugation "dass" as we do with "that".
dass in german means "that" in english. For example: I know that you eat my food.
what is the difference between "das" and "dass". How will I know what to use? Please help
What do you mean? "dass" exists and is "that" when it introduces a dependant clause. Scroll up for more information.
So is "dass" similar to "weil" in the sense of putting the verb at the end of the sentence?
I'm ashamed to admit that I did not know which of der das and dass to choose. Can someone please clarify why dass is the correct choice?
"dass" means "that." It introduces a subordinate clause for reporting information. Totally different from "das." (Not a native speaker but pretty sure on this one.)
Der and das are the masculine and neuter article "the" respectively, while dass is "that" which I think is a conjunction in this case.....
Are you trying to say: "When do you say dass and when do you say das?" ?
The linguistic explanation: use dass when it's a conjunction, das when it's a demonstrative determiner, demonstrative pronoun, definite article, or relative pronoun.
The simple rule of thumb: if you can replace "that" with "which" or "this" and still have it make grammatical sense, use das, otherwise dass.
"This is the car that I bought last month / This is the car which I bought last month" -- works, so das ist das Auto, dass ich letzten Monat gekauft habe.
"I want to buy that book / I want to buy this bok" -- works, so Ich möchte das Buch kaufen
"I know that you are my son / I know this you are my son / I know which you are my son" -- doesn't work, so Ich weiß, dass du mein Sohn bist.
Grammatically speaking: das is a definite article, a demonstrative determiner, or a demonstrative pronoun; dass is a conjunction.
(I'm not sure how to explain it less technically, since this is a more or less artificial spelling distinction; they both correspond to different meanings of English "that".)
I entered - Er seiht, dass du ein buch hast Duo reported a typo unless DUO was highlighting a lack of a Capitalisation of Buch then I cannot see where the typo is, a little pedantic perhaps but I suppose that is the point.
May be slightly off-topic, but can "daß" be used instead of "dass"? The answer shows the latter as the correct one, though it accepts both.
No, they are not the same.
The conjunction (Italian “che”) is spelled dass.
It’s an artificial spelling distinction (in English das and dass are still the same word, “that”) but the two are not interchangeable any more than, say, “to” and “too” in English (a similarly artificial spelling distinction in what had originally been one word and still is in German).
du hast ein Buch just means "you have a book".
For the entire sentence "He sees that you have a book", it becomes Er sieht, dass du ein Buch hast.
The "that you have a book" is subordinate clause -- one that can't stand alone and which is joined to the main clause "he sees" with the conjunction "that" dass.
Subordinate clauses in German always have the conjugated verb at the end -- thus the subordinate clause is dass du ein Buch hast.
English also changes the word order sometimes, in particular when turning direct questions into indirect questions: "What do you have in that box?" cannot become "I want to know what do you have in that box." but has to be "I want to know what you have in that box." And "Why is my sentence not accepted?" becomes not "I want to know why is my sentence not accepted" but "I want to know why my sentence is not accepted".
I would really appreciate a simple explanation for why hast is at the end here. Why not: "Er sieht, dass du hast ein Buch"? Thanks.
Your explanation is simple and it makes a lot of sense. Thanks a lot! I also noticed that you answered this question already above, sorry there's too many comments on here. I now really appreciate the work you do as a moderator. Vielen Dank!
"Dass" is a conjunction here. You'd use 'dass' for conjunctions. However, you'd use 'das' for a general statement. Ex. Das ist ein Buch.
Can i say this sentence as "Dass du ein Buch hast, sieht er"
Grammatically, it's fine.
But it would be an unusual word order, unless you are contrasting it with seeing something else -- e.g. Dass du ein Buch hast, sieht er, aber nicht, dass du auch eine Zeitung hast. "He sees that you have a book but not that you also have a newspaper".
Putting dass du ein Buch hast at the beginning would usually be used to make it into the topic of the sentence -- "As for 'you have a book': he sees that [but not something else]"
What’s with the comma after “er sieht”? Also, is “dass” a subordinating conjunction, like why does hast go to the end of the clause? I know that subordinating conjunctions put the verb of that clause to the end.
I don't know about you guys, but I find it very difficult to learn German. It seems I will never memorize all this vocabulary and grammar rules. Heeelp!!!
The only way to increase is to move on every day, even just few steps. That's how I learn German. Hope you can success.