"He is handsome, even though he is old."
Translation:Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist.
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:
Subordinate sentences move the verb to the end:
Ich denke dass er viele Freunde HAT. (I think he has many friends)
Wir arbeiten weil wir Geld BRAUCHEN. (We work because we need money)
Du trinkst einen Saft wo ich eine Katze verkauft habe. (You are drinking a juice where I have bought a cat)
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.
Ich GEBE dir einen Kuli. (I give you a pen)
Einen Kuli GEBE ich dir. (A pen give I to you)
Dir GEBE ich Einen Kuli. (To you give I a pen)
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 This last mit phrase, could have been replaced by "mit ihr" (with them), but technically you can keep adding elements and sub-clauses over and over again.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)
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.)
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.
German is made fun of by separating the verb. In the subordinate clause this is not done. All of the verb comes at the end.
With "hätte gewesen sein können" I was trying to imitate Mark Twain's "haben sind gewesen gehabt haben geworden sein" -- see also http://www.cs.utah.edu/~gback/awfgrmlg.html.
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.
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'!
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]
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.)
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).
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?
Why do you have to repeat the "he" in English? "He is handsome even though is old" is not good English; neither is it good German. Romance languages let you leave out pronouns, but German, like English, does not.
You could probably replace "he is old" with just "old", so the "though" is joining two adjectives instead of two clauses, but that's a transformation, not a translation.