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Word order!!!

"Solonge der Hund schläft, ist er süß" The above sentence and many more are in this lesson. What is the rule for word order in such sentences? I thought the verb goes to the end of the phrase! But it is in the beginning here!

October 5, 2013



"Solange der Hund schläft" is a subclause, stating the condition under which the main clause is true: "er ist süß". If you put the main clause in front of the subclause, you can keep them as they are:

Er ist süß, solange er schläft.

But if you turn them around, you have to change the order of the main clause to keep the verb in second place of the sentence. Basically, the subclause is holding the first "spot" now, the verb comes second, then the subject of the main clause, then the adverb:

[Solange er schläft], ist er süß.


Thanks a lot. But I am now a bit confused, I thought that in subordinating conjugation the dependent clause's word order will changed and the verb goes to the end of the clause. Now there is something more here. Am I right? If the dependent clause comes before the independent clause then the order of the independent clause will changed and the verb comes first? And if so, how about the dependent clause? Is the rule of going of the verb to the end of the clause still work? For example is it right: "Solange der Hund nicht schläft, ist er süß"


The dependent clause is "Solange der Hund schläft". As you can see, the verb of this clause comes at the end just fine, and this will not change regardless if the clause is placed at the front or end of the main clause.

The main clause consists of the three elements subject - verb - adverb: Er - ist - süß. Standing alone like that, the verb is in second place. And it will stay there, regardless of what you do with the rest of the sentence:

Er ist heute süß. - just added a temporal adverb.

Heute ist er süß. - just jumbled the word order around a bit, but left the verb at second place untouched.

solange er schläft ist er süß. - Whoops! Now I substituted the heute by a whole subclause! But the verb didn't move a bit, because the subclause counts as holding just one place, as did the heute before. So no, the verb didn't move to first place, it stayed in second place.

Your example sentence is right, though:

[Solange der Hund nicht schläft], ist er süß.

Verb at the end of [subclause], then verb of main clause, then the subject and adverb.


Great explanation. I wish this was contained in "Tips and notes" for the lesson.


Fine, I think I get it finally. Thanks a lot


Great explanation! I have been confused by this too


Your explanation couldn't be better , thanks a lot


thank you, this was very helpful. I couldn't figure out that the first half of the sentence counts as one position so I had a hard time with the word order.

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