"He is handsome, even though he is old."

Translation:Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist.

February 26, 2013

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Why is the ist at the end here?


In the subordinate clause the verb comes at the end - all of the verb with all hätte gewesen sein können.

[deactivated user]

    Wait a minute there! I thought that, with subordinate clauses, the verb came at the start. Am I crazy?. For example: "Sofern du bezahlst, trinke Ich". I always thought that the subordinate clause was, in this case, "trinke Ich". Now, other people below this discussion said that there are some special words called "verb scares" like "obwohl" that send the verb to the end. Is there someone who can set this discussion once and for all? preferably someone with much more experience in german than I have


    We have two problems with word order here, that you should remember:

    1. Subordinate sentences move the verb to the end:

    2. Ich denke dass er viele Freunde HAT. (I think he has many friends)

    3. Wir arbeiten weil wir Geld BRAUCHEN. (We work because we need money)

    4. Du trinkst einen Saft wo ich eine Katze verkauft habe. (You are drinking a juice where I have bought a cat)

    1. Verb is always in the second position of the sentence. Usually the first position is occupied by a subject, many times it is a pronoun, but if you place something else there, you have to place the subject as near as you can, it is, in the third position, since the second is ALWAYS for the verb.

    2. Ich GEBE dir einen Kuli. (I give you a pen)

    3. Einen Kuli GEBE ich dir. (A pen give I to you)

    4. Dir GEBE ich Einen Kuli. (To you give I a pen)

    5. Mit alle die Leute die unsere Freunde sind und die die Tieren wirklich lieben GEBE ich dir einen Kuli. (With all the people that are our friends and that really love the animals give I to you a pen)

    As you can see, it doesn't matter how long the phrase is, as long as it is only one single block. This last mit phrase, could have been replaced by "mit ihr" (with them), but technically you can keep adding elements and sub-clauses over and over again.

    As you probably have already guesseed, this first position in the sentence can be taken by a subordinate clause (with the verb at the end) and then you get these two cases together. When you "get out" of the subordinate clause and come back to the main sentence, you arrive to the second position, which has to be used by the verb, so you get two verbs in a row.

    • Weil du perfekt bist libe ich dich. (Because you perfect are, love I to you)

    • Ob du mich liebst weiße ich nicht. (If you to me love, know I not)

    -Wenn einen Hund sie hat möchte ich mit ihr sprechen. (If shea dog has, want I with her talk)


    This great comment raises another question: why are there so many equivalents of "if" and "because" in German??


    The 3 main "when's" that you need in German: Wann, wenn, als.

    I am not 100% sure if my examples are perfect German form. Hopefully people can see the difference between the 3.

    Wann - This is used for time. e.g: Wann kommst du hier an? - (When are you arriving?)

    Wenn - This is used for when something has happened more than once in the past or for the future. e.g: Past - Wenn ich Fußball in die Vergangenheit spielen habe, habe ich immer Schmerzen in mein Bein. (When I have played football in the past, I always have pain in my leg.) e.g: Future - Wenn ich nach Deutschland fahre, werde ich nur Deutsch sprechen. (When I fly to Germany, I will only speak German.)

    Als - This is for events that happened once in the past. e.g: Als ich acht Jahr alt war, bin ich mein erstes Fahrrad geritten. (When I was 8 years old, I rode my first bike.)


    One of the best explanations I've seen for the word order of subordinate sentences with complex clauses, thank you so much!


    My life spent learning German has become 100% easier.

    Thanks dude


    In that last sentence, should "Wenn einen Hund sie hat [...]" not be "Wenn sie einen Hund hat [...]"? (Your gloss-like translation also suggests this.)

    Otherwise, brilliant comment. I have few problems with this as a Dutch person who has studied linguistics, but I recognize that this stuff can be very confusing at first, and your comment explained it very well.


    "Trinke Ich" isn't the subordinate clause in your example; the other is. The verb does in fact come at the end of the subordinate clause: "Sofern du bezahlst..."

    Great example sentence, by the way!


    Thanks, so how do you know the cause is subordinate?


    A subordinate clause doesn't work as a standalone sentence.
    You can say "He is handsome." and it works by itself with nothing around it. But "Even though he is old" doesn't work by itself; it requires context to go with the "Even though".


    I found this link very helpful in understanding the placement of verbs at the end of the sentence when using a subordinate conjunction (ex:obwohl). http://www.germanveryeasy.com/conjunctions


    Thank you very much, you are my savior! :))


    I tired "Er sieht gut aus, obwohl er alt ist" - I'm think this should be a valid answer too!


    Nah, it's not the same. Contextually, yes. But they're trying to teach you a word.


    He looks good doesn't always equate handsome i think. It will be translated as He looks good, even though he is old


    Did you mark "My answer should be accepted?"


    Not cool when you are learning new words to give the definition for one word: "even" = "sogar," when it's a phrase you are looking for: "even though" = obwohl. Are we supposed to remember all these terms after seeing them once?!? "Even though" should be translated as a phrase in this instance.


    Duolingo isn't perfect and shouldn't be considered a replacement for proper lessons and tutorials. You should accompany your study with some other method of learning.


    Separating words so when you highlight them it gives you the exact definition of each word separately instead of showing an option for a word that means the two together as a phrase is really, really annoying. I don't want the definitions for 'even' and 'though' , I want the definition for 'even though'!


    Though, 'even though' is basically another way of saying 'although' which is 'obwohl' in German :)


    why is it not Er ist schön, obwohl er ist alt


    With certain words (verb scarers) which link clauses (e.g. obwohl, weil, wenn and als) the verb is sent to the end of the clause. For example: Ich mag Pasta, weil es lecker ist I like pasta, because it is tasty Ich mag Pasta [comma] [scarer - weil] es lecker [verb - ist]


    What about when you add nicht in there? I remember seeing a similar clause but nicht was at the end rather than the verb.


    'Nicht' would just make the sentence negative. E.g. Ich will (nicht) Pasta I want (not) pasta Would mean 'I don't want pasta'

    However, it does not replace the verb. There will always be a verb in the sentence.


    That makes sense now, thank you!


    What is wrong with rephrasing like this: Obwohl er alt ist, ist er schön? am I wrong?

    [deactivated user]

      It's fine. Your translation is accepted now.


      Question please: is it proper in German to call a man schön. Wouldn't hübsch be more adequate?


      is there a way of writing that sentence without repeating the er? in portuguese, because we have verb conjugations, we don't have to always write the pronoum, can that also happen in german?

      [deactivated user]


        I said "Er ist schön, trotzdem er ist alt". I learned at school that obwohl = trotzdem = although = even though. Also trotzdem lets the verb come in second place as usual. Is there something wrong?


        Er sieht gut aus = er ist gutaussehend


        Why is this in the clothing section? Lol


        Why when i put it in the right order it is said in English it says it is wrong? isnt that how it is supposed to go? i said er ist schon, obwohl er ist alt


        Many conjunctions in German change the word order of the introduced phrase. Obwohl is such a conjunction, and it moves the verb to the end of the phrase. So the order has to be obwohl er alt ist for the second half of the sentence.

        (Also be careful that the word here is schön, not schon, which has a different meaning.)


        Thanks, I think I get it now, here's a lingot


        Well 10 you really stopped my confusion


        Wow, thanks! Much appreciated. Glad to have been of help.


        No problem, I really was confused before ☺


        "hübsch" for "handsome" ought to be allowed here


        Was für ein unmöglicher Satz. Totaler Schwachsinn. 80 Kommentare.

        Ich wünsche Duo von Herzen, daß sie bessere Sätze finden, die wirklich Sinnvoll sind. Vielleicht sollte Duo mal nach qualifiziertem Personal suchen.


        One of the options was "obwohl er weiß ist, sieht er gut aus." ( He looks good, even though he's white). Kind of a backhanded, if not racist, compliment, no?


        Does "Er ist gutaussehend, obwohl er ist alt" work as well as what they had for the correct answer?


        It should be "... obwohl er alt ist." That's what I know for sure.

        I think "schön" is closer to the word "handsome," and "gutaussehend" is closer to "good-looking." Both words seem to get the same point across, but I would stick to "schön" for "handsome." (But that's one person's opinion).


        Are the commas used the same in German?


        i typed "Er ist shön, obwohl er ist alt" and it was counted as wrong. When I was learning German my teacher said that it was alright to interchange the "ist" and "alt". I reported it but i would like an explanation to why its wrong. (ps i know i spelt sch'o'n wrong)


        Er ist schnick, trotz seinen Alter?


        Would you call a man "schoen"?


        Yep, I think that's one of the things they're teaching: we don't normally call men 'beautiful' in English, but in German you can use 'schön' for men and women alike.


        In the multichoice answer presentation of this exercise, there are two options:

        • Er ist schön, obwohl er ist alt. (the correct answer)
        • Er ist schön, obwohl ist alt. (missing pronoun in the subordinate)

        Which leads me to ask: does German always require the pronoun, like English or French, or can you drop it like in Czech or Italian?


        can you drop it like in Czech or Italian?

        No, German is a non null-subject language, so the subject cannot be tacit.


        Why not "...obwohl alt er ist"?


        You need to put the subject right after "obwohl."


        Thanks for the explanations

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