Easy Learning German

Co-ordinating conjunctions - Easy Learning Grammar German

  • aber, denn, oder, sondern and und are the most important co-ordinating conjunctions.
  • aber but
Wir wollten ins Kino, aber wir hatten kein Geld.We wanted to go to the cinema, but we had no money.
  • Note that you can’t use aber after a negative to mean not … but …: you must use sondern.
  • aber however
Ich wollte nach Hause, er aber wollte nicht mit.I wanted to go home; however, he wouldn’t come.
  • Note that when aber means ‘however’, it comes between the subject and verb in the clause.
  • denn because, since
Wir wollten heute fahren, denn montags ist weniger Verkehr.We wanted to travel today because there is less traffic on Mondays.
  • oder or
Sie hatte noch nie Whisky oder Schnaps getrunken.She had never drunk whisky or schnapps.
Willst du eins oder hast du vielleicht keinen Hunger?Do you want one or aren’t you hungry?
  • sondern but
Es kostet nicht zwanzig, sondern fünfzig Euro.It doesn’t cost twenty euros, but fifty.
  • und and
Susi und OliverSusi and Oliver
Er ging in die Stadt und kaufte sich ein neues Hemd.He went into town and bought himself a new shirt.
  • If you use a co-ordinating conjunction, you do not put the verb at the end of the clause beginning with the conjunction.
Wir wollten ins Theater, aber wir hatten kein Geld.We wanted to go to the theatre but we had no money.
wir = subject
hatten = verb

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