Subordinating conjunctions

Here are some of the main subordinating conjunctions. They send the verb to the end.

als - when (with past tenses)

bevor - before

dass - that

nachdem - after, afterwards

ob - whether, if

obwohl - although

weil - because

wenn - when (with present tense), if


Ich habe ein Buch gekauft, als ich im Einkaufszentrum war. - I bought a book, when I was in the shopping centre.


Ich frühstücke bevor ich mich anziehe. - I have breakfast before I get dressed.


Er denkt immer, dass ich dumm bin. - He always thinks I'm stupid.


Wir sind oft müde, nachdem wir gelaufen sind - We are often tired after we have been running.


Ich weiß nicht, ob ich das machen möchte. - I don't know if I would like to do that.


Sie isst viel Kuchen, obwohl es nicht gesund ist. - She eats a lot of cake, although it's not healthy.


Ich bleibe heute zu Hause, weil ich viel zu tun habe - I'm staying at home today, because I have a lot to do.


Er wird uns besuchen, wenn er die Zeit hat. - He will visit us when he has time.


Link the two clauses with the conjunction. What do they mean?

  • Wir interessieren uns für Musik. Wir downloaden nicht viel. (obwohl)
  • Kannst du mir helfen? Du hast die Hausaufgaben gemacht. (nachdem)
  • Wir interessieren uns für Musik, obwohl wir nicht viel downloaden. - We are interested in music, even though we don't download much.
  • Kannst du mir helfen, nachdem du die Hausaufgaben gemacht hast? - Can you help me after you have done your homework?

Did you know?

Weil am Rhein is the name of a town situated in the Südbaden area in southern Germany.

As its name suggests, the town lies on the banks of the River Rhine. The outer limits of the town border France to the west, and Switzerland to the south. When three countries border each other in this way, it is known as a 'tripoint' in English and called ein Dreiländereck (literally: a three country corner) in German.

In 1913, a marshalling yard, used to separate railway wagons on to different tracks, was built to link Weil am Rhein to the neighbouring Swiss city of Basel. The name Weil is believed to come from the Roman name Willa, and so does not mean 'because' in this instance.

But how apt that a town of this name should link two towns in two different countries, just as weil links two clauses.

 A man on a bicycle enters into Germany from Switzerland at the border crossing
You can walk or cycle into both France and Switzerland within minutes from the German town of Weil am Rhein