Utvidelse av tyske setninger: Bruk av bisetninger og relative pronomener

German language learners often encounter the challenge of constructing complex sentences. One effective way to enhance sentence structure is by incorporating subordinate clauses and relative pronouns. These elements add depth and specificity to sentences, allowing for more nuanced expression. Let’s look into how they function and how they can be employed effectively.


Subordinate Clauses

Subordinate clauses, also known as dependent clauses, provide additional information within a sentence. They cannot stand alone as complete sentences and are introduced by subordinating conjunctions. In German, common subordinating conjunctions include “weil” (fordi), “obwohl” (although), and “wenn” (if/when), among others.

Examples of Subordinate Clauses:

  • Main Clause: Ich gehe ins Kino. (I am going to the cinema.)
  • Subordinate Clause: …weil ich einen Film sehen möchte. (…because I want to watch a movie.)

In this example, the subordinate clause “weil ich einen Film sehen möchte” (because I want to watch a movie) explains the reason for the action expressed in the main clause.


Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns link subordinate clauses to main clauses by referring to a noun or pronoun in the main clause. They replace the noun or pronoun in the subordinate clause and help to connect the two clauses smoothly. In German, common relative pronouns include “der” (who, which, that), “die” (who, which, that), and “das” (which, that), among others.

Examples of Relative Pronouns:

  • Main Clause: Das ist der Mann. (That is the man.)
  • Subordinate Clause: …der gestern gekommen ist. (…who came yesterday.)

Here, the relative pronoun “der” refers back to “Mann” (man) in the main clause and introduces additional information about the man.


Combining Subordinate Clauses and Relative Pronouns

To create complex sentences in German, one can combine subordinate clauses with relative pronouns. This allows for the expression of multiple ideas within a single sentence, providing clarity and coherence.

Examples of Combined Subordinate Clauses and Relative Pronouns:

  • Main Clause: Ich habe den Brief erhalten. (I received the letter.)

  • Subordinate Clause 1: …den du geschickt hast. (…that you sent.)

  • Subordinate Clause 2: …weil ich lange darauf gewartet habe. (…because I waited for it for a long time.)

  • Combined Sentence: Ich habe den Brief erhalten, den du geschickt hast, weil ich lange darauf gewartet habe. (I received the letter that you sent because I waited for it for a long time.)

In this combined sentence, the relative pronoun “den” links the main clause to the first subordinate clause, while the subordinating conjunction “weil” introduces the second subordinate clause.