"Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist."

Translation:He is handsome, even though he is old.

May 4, 2013

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Germans getting harder and harder by each lesson! And a lot of the new sentences they show don't translate right in English! Why are there so many ways to place the words in German and still get one meaning? Can some please help me get that right and give me tips! Danke, Danke, Danke!

June 17, 2013


There aren't sooo many ways! You just have to get used to some words - obwohl, ob, weil, wenn, dass...(and a few more in that ^link by Lynoure) - which you can think of as "kickers"...conjunctions which always kick the verb to the end of the sentence. Others - aber, oder, und... - don't.

June 20, 2013


the ones that do not kick the verb (Konjunktoren) can be remembered as "a.d.u.s.o." aber - denn - und - sondern - oder

"ich bin schnell und ich bin stark"

July 15, 2017


Yes you're right also for someone who wants to know are called prepositions, divided by akkusativ and dativ, also between of those there are the prepositions who make a subordinate clause, like obwohl, bevor, dass, weil, als, well really i can't remember all, but you can study the prepositions who makes a subordinate clause that's the reason for put the verb at the end of sentence

an example ich bin eine englische und spanische sprachen bevor ich ein spanische sprachen bär (thinking in the past of be)

also i think that you should be to learn the prepositions of case akk and case datv, after that the subordinate clause

September 23, 2014


Please restate your explanation ... in English

July 13, 2018


I agree with the getting harder and harder, PruBien. I had to do Conjunctions 1 three times. We'll stick with it and get it, though. Practice, practice, as they say.

December 21, 2013


as spanish speaker native and english speaker as secong language i can say you, that it's common for me, it's like english only that begining learn from english language really is hard but soooo entertaiment

May 11, 2014


Then this must be strengthening your grasp of 2 languages at the same time - ich doch 'envy' dich!!

August 6, 2014


I don't think "doch" is used in that sense.

Doch is more of "of course" to falsify a negation.

"The Earth doesn't go round the sun."

"Doch! Geht es."

I may be wrong. :P

August 6, 2014


Nah, I definitely seem wronger :P I had a sentence before, which read "Es ist doch nicht richtig!" but now I get it. It is used to negate a statement that negates something, if you get my drift. Yea, i was clearly wrong!

August 6, 2014


It's kinda simple actually. First of all in german the conjugated verb always is the second element in main sentences "ich liebe (2nd) dich", "Morgen um 6 laufe (2nd) ich", but the other verbs thge sentence might have go to the end "ich werde immer dich hassen". In most subordinative sentences the conjugated verb goes to the end of the sentence "ich bin glücklich, weil er mich liebt" the subordinative sentences represent only one element, so if you turn things backwards the verb of the main clause must be in second place "Weil er mich liebt, bin ich glücklich". With more than one verb the subordinative clause will arrange the verbs backwards so that the last verb of the sentence is the conjugated one "Weil er mir ein Geschenk gekauft hat, habe ich ihm ein Getränk gemacht", "Gestern hat er sein altes Hemd verkauft, obwohl er ein neues Hemd zu kaufen brauchen wird"

August 1, 2015


In an earlier post, someone put this url: http://www.germanveryeasy.com/conjunctions#und You might find the information there (about conjuctions and word order) helpful. :)

September 28, 2016


Of course each lesson gets harder. You learn new words. And there aren't as many ways as you think. It's just that you can't always translate literally or something.. Listen to Jenzi. :)

September 15, 2014


In german, negatives are placed at the end of the sentence. To translate, reword the sentence. The word nicht in german is not, and is placed at the end of the sentence. You just have make sense of what words you have.

October 17, 2018


Can someone explain to me why "ist" is at the end of the sentence? Thanks

May 4, 2013


Typical word order in subordinate or dependent clauses. See e.g. http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa010910a.htm

May 6, 2013


I'm afraid I'll never quite get this right.

June 3, 2013


yes you will, you will get used to it the more you read and write in the language. when I was taking my german courses, I started to think subordinate clauses in german and sometimes it made me get a bit confused in everyday life. only now that I have not practiced in a while I am beginning to not think in german much. the key is to practice everyday.

October 10, 2013


If anyone finds trouble with grammar even after reading different articles, I found that the best way is to not question the sentence. So in other words, don't think just do. Telling ourselves that the sentence is weird makes us believe and is thus hard to break that way of thinking. Whenever you see a weird sentence just think "This is how it is supposed to be" grow an intuition for it. Then after that read the article again for more insight. I worked for me on previous lessons. This should be more of a last resort when nothing else works. If native Germans can learn their language through listening and practice alone then so can we.

February 13, 2016


Frieda, well said. That is how we all learnt out mother tongues. Blindly accepting as babies and only later analysing when we had the capacity.

July 13, 2018


That's how I think but it also helps to ask to be able to understand. 'Cause if we don't, we may end up treating foreign languages as our mother tongues when speaking. I helped many new English speakers not treat English like Spanish.

April 20, 2019


schön can't be "cute"?

December 10, 2013


Schön is, as tranmantran said, attractive/appealing. It's used to describe people, the weather, objects, etc. "Die Tür is schön", "Der Mann ist schön", "Das Wetter ist Schön".... I would translate the sentences to A.E. as "The door is pretty", "The man is handsome", "The weather is beautiful".... but they are all correct in German.

"Nice" in German is "nett", in the idea that "Der Mann ist nett" = The man is nice (not in his looks, in his personality). So you can't use "nett" for objects (unless your front door can speak and has exceptional manners).

"Süß" is cute or sweet. Puppies and baby otters are "süß". Süß also means sweet tasting (which maybe puppies and baby otters are as well, I have no personal experience to draw on as far as that goes).

Hope that helps break those words down a bit! And don't forget, there are other German words that fall into this kind of category that may be more applicable in certain situations, but these are still right.

January 19, 2015


Wow! What a loaded sentence. If you substituted sie for er Duolingo would catch hell for that.

August 26, 2017


If we wanted to start the sentence with "obwohl", would it be right to say: "Obwohl er alt ist, IST ER schön" or we should say: "Obwohl er alt ist, ER IST schön"?

January 14, 2014


I was wondering about what the reverse would be too. My guess was " Obwohl er ist alt, IST ER schon". Is this correct?

An explanation on another board has said that the verb has to be placed first in the second phrase if the first one ( the subordinate phrase) opens the sentence.

September 4, 2014


I am confused with the actual meaning of Obwohl. Is it Though/Although/Even Though. Because I think the feeling of sentence changes in English with different usage. For ex. 1. Cheese is good, THOUGH it is old (also reflects that 'cheese tastes good but the sad part is that it is old') 2. Cheese is good, ALTHOUGH it is old (reflects that 'cheese still tastes good even on being old') Can someone please explain the situation when Obwohl can or cannot be used using some example? Thanks in advance!

June 6, 2018


It matches your number 2 best -- but could also mean number 1. I might use obgleich or obschon or, more likely, auch wenn for number 1.

June 6, 2018


A rule of thumb... Dont know if it applies to all conjunctions...if a conjunction comes in the middle of the senetnce, then in the latter part of the sentence the verb will be placed last... If a conjunction satrts a sentence then the two verbs will be placed together at the middle of the sentence

June 20, 2019


I feel the sentence, "it is beautiful, although old," should be accepted. Or a rule I am missing?

May 9, 2016


If you were to replace "it" with "he", the meaning of the sentence would be correct, but it's still slightly awkward-sounding in English.

August 11, 2016


Wouldn't the English sentence make more sense with despite, not although?

October 11, 2018


despite is a preposition, not a conjunction, so the construction would be different: ...despite being old, or ...despite the fact that he is old.

October 11, 2018


I know the difference in grammar, but I was asking about the meaning. Excuse me for not making my meaning clear. I guess I just don't get what the sentence is actually trying to say. Is the meaning positive or negative? Also thank you for the quick reply.

October 11, 2018


It could be either surprise (more like "despite" or "even though") or a kind of concession (more like "although" or "albeit").

October 11, 2018


"He is old he is handsome tough" why isn't it true?

October 22, 2018


The word you want is "correct", not "true".

It's not a correct translation because "tough" means something different from "though", and because "He is old; he is handsome, though" means something different than "He is handsome, (al)though he is old".

October 22, 2018


Why does it show "even though" and "although" as translations, and then tell me I'm wrong when I use although?

December 9, 2018


I used although instead of even though and was marked wrong, why?

June 1, 2019


Subtle difference. 'Even though' just seems a slightly better choice here than 'although'. It adds more emphasis on the unexpected relationship between handsomeness and old age.

June 1, 2019


Please explain why Duolingo wants us to choose between aber (but) and obwohl (even though), without letting us know what translation it wants. Either would work.

June 9, 2019


Either would work.

No, because the grammar is different: aber er ist alt versus obwohl er alt ist. (aber is a coordinating conjunction, obwohl a subordinating conjunction.)

June 9, 2019


Ah. That makes sense.

Though it would probably get people to understand it better if Duolingo actually presented that point instead of just throwing word at you and relying on the mods to explain the "why."

June 9, 2019


Does that mean that you use "aber" when the second clause is equal to the first and "obwohl" when the second clause is subordinate? Or does that mean using "aber" makes the second clause equal and "obwohl" makes the second clause subordinate?

June 12, 2019


Or does that mean using "aber" makes the second clause equal and "obwohl" makes the second clause subordinate?

This one.

The meaning is also a bit different - obwohl is "despite the fact that...; in spite of the fact that ...", which is a bit stronger than just "but".

June 13, 2019


Can someone help me with the pronunciation of "obwohl"? Thanks a lot

March 14, 2014



July 24, 2015


Thanks a lot

October 31, 2015


Can't we use "but" instead of "although"? Sorry I'm not a native English speaker

June 30, 2015


'He is handsome, but he is old' has a different meaning than 'He is handsome although he is old'. The correct translation is basically saying that 'Despite the fact that he is old, he is handsome.' Using 'but' instead of 'although' is kind of like downplaying his handsomeness because of the fact that he is old. Sorry if this doesn't make much sense.

September 25, 2015


Then you use "albeit," not "while," which suggests that only when he has grown old he is handsome, in which case "when" would be the better choice. All the way around, it is an exceptionally bad sentence for beginners German.

December 11, 2016


You would never "while" like this in an English sentence. You would use "albeit" or "though," but never "while." It is extremely awkward if not downright wrong.

December 11, 2016


I nearly died trying to spell "young"… then it turned out that I just made a very dumb mistake ) :

December 29, 2016


Ist es richtig? In spite of his age But the app said it is wrong

July 21, 2017


That would be a good translation for trotz seines Alters -- but it's not quite the same as "even though he is old" (obwohl er alt ist).

(For starters, "in spite of his age" could also refer to being too young rather than too old.)

July 21, 2017


What is wrong with "He is nice, he is old though" one of my esl teachers tauhgt me it was right

August 5, 2017


That's a comma splice in English and should better have a semicolon or full stop between the two: "He is nice; he is old, though."

It means something else, though, than "He is nice, even though he is old."

And "nice" doesn't usually refer to physical attractiveness, in my experience, but to behaviour or character.

August 6, 2017


There says for me "er alt ist" Why isnt it er ist alt?

August 11, 2017


obwohl is a subordinating conjunction that joins a subordinate clause to a main clause.

In a subordinate clause in German, the verb goes to the end.

So you have obwohl ....... ist and all the other words in that clause have to go between those two.

August 11, 2017


I am not sure what exact meaning Obwohl actually has. Would this sentence be translated as "he is handsome, though he is old", in which "he is old" overrides "he is handsome", or rather "he is handsome even though he's old"/"he is handsome despite being old"?

September 30, 2017


Mostly the latter ("even though; despite [the fact that]").

It could be the former.

I think obgleich could only be the former, but it sounds a bit more formal/rare.

September 30, 2017


I second that motion!

April 3, 2018


Um. Yeah. This sentence is a bit ageist, don't you think? It suggests that oldness is not in itself beautiful. Duolingo, you might want to rethink this one...

July 13, 2018


The 2nd er sounds like ja in the audio

September 30, 2018


"Er" is a masculin subject, animated or inanimated. Translating without further specification shouldn't the subject be "it"?

October 28, 2018


In German « it » is « es ». « Er » is « he ».

October 29, 2018


It looks like ''He is beautiful, even though he is old.''

January 31, 2019



February 4, 2019


When I was in second year high school (East Hills Boys'), we had an Art lesson in class, not in the Art Studio. The teacher (a man) placed in font of the class, on the blackboard, many different photos, illustrations from all different periods: busts, portraits, nudes, semi-dudes, frescoes etc. Each student was asked to give a suitable adjective to describe a chosen illustration. The one I was asked to describe was a young man's face, painted in black. I said that (the portrait) was beautiful. One long pregnant silence!!! You could have heard a pin drop. The teacher quickly corrected - and said, " The word we use is handsome." The lesson continued.. I have found that men are as beautiful as women. And vice versa. However, sexism is as evident in English, as in German. The word "schön" means beautiful! I should have known, by the pronoun " Er." Not to use beautiful but handsome! I still stand by my conviction: Men are as beautiful as women!

March 3, 2019


Why "obwohl er alt ist" when in previous sentences the verb must come first? Is it due to obwohl being in the second part of the sentence?

May 1, 2019


obwohl is a subordinating conjunction -- the verb has to be at the end of the clause started by obwohl.

Er ist schön, obwohl er alt ist.
Obwohl er alt ist, ist er schön.

Regardless of whether it's first or second, obwohl er alt ist will always have the ist at the end.

May 1, 2019


This may be Canadian usage, but it is (currently) generally considered rude to label someone "old". The preferred terms are (noun) elder; (adjective) elderly.

While I agree that "old" should be accepted as a direct translation, the alternative, "elderly" shold also be accepted. I have flagged this.

June 15, 2019


I, myself, prefer ancient. I'm not old, I'm ancient. : P

June 16, 2019


I disagree. It’s all relative - if you call someone in their 40s elderly they (or I, at least) would be more offended than if you call them old. Whereas if you call someone in the 70s or more old or elder they probably won’t care because they’re not fragile little snowflakes.

June 24, 2019


Why does it have to be ordered in that way and just put" obwohl er ist alt" can someone explain?.

June 20, 2019


obwohl is a subordinating conjunction -- it starts a subordinate clause (or dependent clause: one that cannot stand by itself but only as part of a larger sentence).

Subordinate clauses have the finite verb (the one that has endings to match the subject) at the end -- in this case, that's ist which is conjugated to match the subject er.

So it has to be obwohl ...... ist with the verb at the end. And with the other words included: obwohl er alt ist.

June 20, 2019


Oh ok ,thank you

June 20, 2019


I wrote it down, it came that my answer is not correct, and than it shows exactly what i wrote as the correct answer

August 12, 2019


My guess is that you had a listening exercise, not a translation exercise.

August 12, 2019
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