Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My understanding of the typical construction of a sentence/clause in German is that the 2nd position is occupied by a verb so

"Ich glaube das nicht."

and

"Das glaube ich nicht."

are both valid. However, certain words occupy the 0th position. The two examples which come to mind are "denn" and "aber."

"..., denn ich glaube das nicht."

Unless there's some rule that I am totally missing, does anyone know of a relatively comprehensive list to become familiar with?

share|improve this question
    
I'm not sure if using "denn" as the first word is valid at all. It's a word that usually only begins a "Nebensatz" - "Ich bin verwirrt, denn ..." –  Florian Peschka May 26 '11 at 13:48
    
@ApoY2k: good point... I'll edit the question... –  ghshtalt May 26 '11 at 13:49
3  
@ApoY2k: Denn does not begin a "Nebensatz", otherwise it would be ..., denn ich das nicht glaube, which is not correct. It connects "Hauptsätze" and can also be the first word. See Zwiebelfisch for details :) –  OregonGhost May 26 '11 at 14:30
    
@OregonGhost: thank you for that link! I think that they name for the words I was looking for are 'koordinierenden Konjunktionen,' correct? (That is, opposed to 'subordinierenden Konjunktionen'). –  ghshtalt May 26 '11 at 15:22
    
@ghshtalt: Yes, I think so. –  OregonGhost May 26 '11 at 15:26

2 Answers 2

Maybe what you are looking for are "Bindewörter / Konjunktionen"?

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konjunktion_(Wortart)#Konjunktionen_der_Deutschen_Sprache

Those words can be used to express causality

Ich ging nach Hause, aber kam nie an.

But they can also be used as a first word in a sentece

Obwohl es mir schlecht geht, ging ich in die Schule.

share|improve this answer

My understanding of the typical construction of a sentence/clause in German is that the 2nd position is occupied by a verb

Reading your examples: are you familiar with the word order in subordinate clauses?

Conjunctions like "obwohl" usually induce a subordinate clause, where the verb is not supposed to be 2nd.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.