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

Translation:Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist.

February 26, 2013

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/badbrad17

Why is the ist at the end here?

February 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wudama

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

February 26, 2013

[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

    July 20, 2014

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 This last mit phrase, could have been replaced by "mit ihr" (with them), but technically you can keep adding elements and sub-clauses over and over again.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

    November 1, 2014

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

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

    November 29, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.)

    April 12, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/RichardPer557306

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

    February 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/derpkins

    My life spent learning German has become 100% easier.

    Thanks dude

    May 29, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    July 6, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/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!

    August 12, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Maximus21jr

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

    March 21, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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".

    March 21, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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

    September 6, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Balzs976536

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

    June 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/thelund

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

    April 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ozitiho

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

    February 6, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/kwonnnn

    Did you mark "My answer should be accepted?"

    June 24, 2013

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

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

    October 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    March 4, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    October 14, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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'!

    February 16, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/TrickyTriforce

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

    March 8, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/raneroandres

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

    August 30, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/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]

    November 2, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    February 15, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daselena

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

    June 5, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/christian

    It's fine. Your translation is accepted now.

    June 5, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/HeinrichIV

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

    November 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    September 29, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/christian

    No.

    September 30, 2013

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

    ok, thanks.

    December 17, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/senakos

    Er sieht gut aus = er ist gutaussehend

    March 21, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    July 7, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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).

    September 27, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/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

    February 27, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/HarryMitch1

    Why is this in the clothing section? Lol

    September 1, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/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

    November 30, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.)

    November 30, 2016

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

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

    December 1, 2016

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

    Well 10 you really stopped my confusion

    December 1, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/VincentOostelbos

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

    December 1, 2016

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

    No problem, I really was confused before ☺

    December 1, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/nip667

    Are the commas used the same in German?

    April 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/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)

    October 14, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/SKYIO1

    Er ist schnick, trotz seinen Alter?

    May 7, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/VoodooChile0714

    Would you call a man "schoen"?

    October 9, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/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?

    September 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/artischocke

    can you drop it like in Czech or Italian?

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

    April 23, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Earnsure

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

    October 27, 2018

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

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

    October 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/IanBiddle

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

    May 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/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.

    July 2, 2019
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