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

Translation:Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist.

February 26, 2013

90 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/badbrad17

Why is the ist at the end here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wudama

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/subetealanutria

    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 This last mit phrase, could have been replaced by "mit ihr" (with them), but technically you can keep adding elements and sub-clauses over and over again.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)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yuri.makarevich

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/plspalding

    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.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardPer557306

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derpkins

    My life spent learning German has become 100% easier.

    Thanks dude


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NayCorn4

    "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!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/siebolt

    After the dash ??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wudama

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

    After the dash, there're two hints: 1) a (I think: incomplete) list of possible auxilary verbs, 2) the info that you use aux. plus verb in the same place in subordinate clauses: "obwohl er alt geworden ist".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/exosarah
    • with the coordonate clause the order doesn't change
    • with the subordonate clause the verb (of the dependent clause) comes last

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maximus21jr

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkTheStrange

    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".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/supriya58

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Balzs976536

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thelund

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ozitiho

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1lizsnxr

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwonnnn

    Did you mark "My answer should be accepted?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

    I think you are right. You should have reported it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kerbunkle

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neobadandy

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LRNSquiffs

    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'!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrickyTriforce

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raneroandres

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrickyTriforce

    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]


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QuintanillaJon

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TrickyTriforce

    '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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QuintanillaJon

    That makes sense now, thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daselena

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    It's fine. Your translation is accepted now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeinrichIV

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafaa.

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlyMoh

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/senakos

    Er sieht gut aus = er ist gutaussehend


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarryMitch1

    Why is this in the clothing section? Lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Savanna.Walters

    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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

    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.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Savanna.Walters

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Savanna.Walters

    Well 10 you really stopped my confusion


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VincentOostelbos

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Savanna.Walters

    No problem, I really was confused before ☺


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanBiddle

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaSteh3

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

    Well gosh, I guess I was the only one who thought it was interesting. (Maybe not all of you got this as a multiple-choice question, and therefore have no idea what I was talking about).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/visnja123

    yes. Sentence is different for everyone, as far as I noticed. I got this on german, and I was requested to translate it to english. I didnt got any multiple answers quest


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael65088

    I get what you mean, but I think the wrong options in that type of exercise are just random. So no racism or anything there, since it was just by chance that you were offered 'white' as an option.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indraperiwal

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

    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).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nip667

    Are the commas used the same in German?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kayleigh_Tolley

    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)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SKYIO1

    Er ist schnick, trotz seinen Alter?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VoodooChile0714

    Would you call a man "schoen"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael65088

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InPxgX6K

    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?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/artischocke

    can you drop it like in Czech or Italian?

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Earnsure

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rahman734587

    Thanks for the explanations


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/werothegreat

    Does "er" have to be repeated? Why not just "Er ist schön, obwohl alt ist." ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    In German, you generally can't drop pronouns. You can't do that in English, either. "He is handsome even though * is old" doesn't work.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali_RL

    Why can't i use obgleich instead of obwohl? I know it isn't as commonly used in Germany but they still have the same meaning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NineGardens

    Why is it "er alt ist" here, but on a previous subclause question we have "ist er gesund"? It feels like both are subclauses/second halves of a sentence, but give completely different word orders for no apparent reason.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john.newbe

    Why do we need to repeat er ? Doesn't the context say that handsome and old apply to the same person ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkTheStrange

    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdhildreth13

    Why isn't 'Er ist schön, aber er alt ist' accepted? Aber is a Translation. Also why does alt come before ist?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiraOcc

    Because that changes the meaning of the sentence. He is handsome but he is old is not the same as saying he is handsome even though he's old.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/exilearash

    What about Er ist alt aber er ist schon? He is old but he is handsome is the same meaning as he is handsome although he is old.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    That's a reasonable translation, but there's no reason to change the sentence structure like that, so don't.

    (Also note that "schon" is a separate word from the correct "schön." Type "oe" ("schoen") if your keyboard can't handle umlauts.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lexicalpianist

    I used edel instead of schön to mean handsome, but it was marked wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hanliec

    Why is the word "obschon" instead of "obwohl" not accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthew.al9

    I was told by my german professor that a male should never be called schoen as it will feminize him.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/visnja123

    yes i am curious why is schön translated as : She is beautiful, but he is handsome. Does anyone know?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

    "Schön" just means visually pleasing/attractive. In English, we describe a woman as "beautiful" but a man as "handsome," so that's how we should translate the word.

    It would simply be odd if we said "She is handsome" or "He is beautiful."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KylerCook2

    I didnt know Lana Del Rey wrote duolingo sentences!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pmg1026

    Why can't I use schöner instead of schön?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael65088

    That's a comparative: 'more beautiful/ handsome'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark_O_not_polo

    I put: Er ist schon, obwohl alt er ist and it was wrong. Why


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Popescu_Nicolae

    You switched "alt er" instead of "er alt", in english was "he is old", so if the verb goes at the end, it does not imply we need to change the subject position too.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvanLiu

    I think "Obwohl er ist alt, ist er schöne" is also acceptable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

    It's not acceptable. The word order is wrong and non-attributive adjectives are not declined. Here's the corrected version:

    Obwohl er alt ist, ist er schön.

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