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My German course hasn't told me why the verbs and possessives have changed round. help?

So I know from doing German on DUolingo for 3 weeks now that if I was to say "I like cows" or "we like cows", they would be: "Ich mag kuhe" and "Wir mogen kuhe" respectively. But I have started the 'conjunctions' chapter now, and it has started to switch them round...without explaining why. Now I have a sentence which translates o "Da er uns mag, mogen wir ihn", which means, "Since he likes us, we like him". But why has it changed round, and how do I know (for future reference) which order the words go in?

August 17, 2017



The conjugated verb is in the last position in subordinate clauses or in relative clauses.

Here's some more about the german word order: https://www.germanveryeasy.com/sentence-structure


I asked a similar question to my teacher at school, and this was the answer I got. The verb, always has to be the second thing in the sentence, or sometimes there is a rule about the verb going after the comma. I am not sure which one it is in this case, but I am sure it is one of the two. I think it is probably the second one, because there is all ready a verb in the first part of the sentence. I am not sure if this helps, but I really hope it does!


You will get used to it as you do more


It's because of the basic sentence structure that also applies to English, which is Subject/Verb/Object. Sentences usually resolve around a subject (a person or a thing) that does something (verb) to the object (the 'receiver' of the verb).

Long explanation (short at the bottom): So, if we look at the sentence above, and I am going to keep it simple without the other fancy grammar stuff, then 'er' (he) is the subject of the sentence (i. e. this is what the sentence is about - the guy (who likes them)), verb is 'mögen' (like) and he object is 'ihn' (him). So if you would leave out the fancy stuff and strip it down to the basics, the sentence is still in the correct SVO order, namely 'Er mag uns'' and 'Wir mögen ihn' (technically, these are two sentences - Er mag uns und wir mögen ihn - which have been combined into one 'if/then' statement (if he likes us, (then) we like him - Wenn er uns mag, (dann) mögen wir ihn auch) and it is grammatically not possible to say 'Da er mag uns, wir mögen ihn' - it sounds really weird!

The 'er uns' and 'wir ihn' construction is like saying 'myself' (my self - mich selbst) 'ourselves' (our selves - uns selbst) etc. and for the reader of the sentence to know that the 'er' is connected to the 'uns', they have to be together as otherwise 'uns' could refer to something else entirely (imagine you would write 'myself' as 'my self' and put the two parts at the front and at the end of the sentence - you would have a hard time to understand that they are in correlation to each other (i. e. 'I said that my, but she disagreed self' instead of 'I said that myself, but she disagreed').

Short explanation: Keep the order for simple sentences (Wir mögen Kühe) and use the order that is the other way around in the complex sentences starting with 'Da', 'Wenn' and 'Falls'. The more you read and learn, the easier it'll get as you start to recognize patterns :)


2 things i remember from German lessons at school, many many years ago:

VERB comma VERB (e.g., while we danced, sang we loudly.) and TIME MANNER PLACE (e.g., we went yesterday by car to Paris.)

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