Connectors

Connectors 1

In this module, you will review the usage of German words that connect clauses. These include coordinating and subordinating conjunctions as well as adverbs. It is important to distinguish these three types of connectors because they affect the position of the verb in a clause.

Activity 1

First, let’s review the meaning of some frequent German conjunctions by matching them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

Activity 2

Now, let’s explore examples with these conjunctions using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Below you will see two images that show example sentences. It is presented in form of a concordance – stacked lines of examples with the search words bolded and centered.  If you find the text hard to read, you can go directly to the DWDS Corpus.

Read corpus examples (a) and (b) below, paying special attention to the position of the conjugated verb.

A.

B.


Which rules best reflect the difference between sentence sets (a) and (b)?

Activity 3

Now consider more example sentences below:

Ich angle gerne, oder ich betrachte einfach nur die Landschaft, das Moos auf den Zypressen und solche Dinge.
Die Zeit, 22.07.1999, Nr. 30

Der Kultursenator in Berlin ist ein Posten zweifelhaften Rufes geworden, nachdem Christa Thoben ihn nach vier Monaten verließ.
Die Zeit, 06.04.2000, Nr. 15

In Wahrheit sinken auch die Steuern und Abgaben in Deutschland nicht, sondern sie steigen insbesondere im laufenden Jahr 2000.
Archiv der Gegenwart, 2001 [2000]

Oder ich kaufe mir nach dem sechsten Bier einen Cuba libre, weil mir das besser bekommt, obwohl es doppelt so viel kostet.
Die Zeit, 27.01.2000, Nr. 5

After looking at all sentences in Activities 2 and 3, decide which conjunctions from Activity 1 are coordinating and which are subordinating.

Drag the conjunction in the correct column:

Activity 4

Read the sentences below and find the conjugated verb of the clause with the bolded conjunction. Then, decide if these conjunctions are coordinating or subordinating.

A.

Select the conjugated verb of the clause with the bolded conjunction.

B.

Choose the correct type for each bolded conjunction.

Activity 5

Now, bring together what you learned about the difference between the coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

Activity 6

Now, let’s consider the third category of connectors: adverbs. Like conjunctions, they can connect clauses, but they also add extra information on how, when, where, or why something happened. Review the meaning of some German adverbs by matching them with their English equivalents. If needed, you can consult the online dictionary LEO.

Activity 7

Read corpus examples below paying special attention to the position of the verb.

Activity 8

Let`s look at some mixed example sentences with three types of connectors:
coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and adverbs. The relevant verbs are in italics. Choose the correct type for each bolded connector.

Activity 9

Now summarize what you have learned in this module.

Activity 10

On your own. Write 5 sentences, where you use at least 5 of the connectors mentioned in this module.
For example:

Ich gehe nach Hause, weil ich müde bin.
Alex will ein Auto kaufen, aber er hat kein Geld.
Ich esse mein Frühstück, dann gehe ich joggen.