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I would like to ask if the following sentence is correct:

Ich habe mit einer Beamtin die letzte Woche gesprochen und sie hat mich gesagt, dass ich meinen Lebenslauf vorlegen muss, damit sie ihm nach Tübingen schickt.

Since "damit" links a "Hauptsatz" with a "Nebensatz", would it be correct to say something like that?

  • "damit" joins a subclause to something else. There is no rule whatsoever that the other thing must be a main clause. That is a good thing, because otherwise there would be sentences which are impossible to render into reported speech accurately. – Kilian Foth Apr 7 '15 at 6:40
  • @Em1 I don't think the die between Beamtin and letzte Woche was addressed by the answer (contrary to mich and ihm) and it looks and sounds so wrong to my eyes and ears. Can it be re-edited away? – Jan Apr 7 '15 at 7:04
  • @Em1 I wanted the collateral mistakes to get out of the way of the real issue, but perhaps you're right, thus they would have slipped from the OP's attention. – Martin Schwehla Apr 7 '15 at 10:08
  • @Jan Since Ingmar changed the word order, it's not that obvious, but basically the "die" was removed. I wouldn't want to edit again. – Em1 Apr 7 '15 at 14:37
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A more idiomatic version would be:

Ich habe letzte Woche mit einer Beamtin gesprochen und sie hat mir gesagt, dass ich meinen Lebenslauf vorlegen muss, damit sie ihn nach Tübingen schickt.

  • so "damit" can also link two Nebensätze? – Vassilis De Apr 6 '15 at 17:54
  • Why, how does my version differ, apart from word order and mir/mich and ihm/ihn? – Ingmar Apr 6 '15 at 17:56
  • I'm afraid I cannot understand the difference i am now learning some german... – Vassilis De Apr 6 '15 at 17:59
  • @VassilisDe You just have to read Ingmar's version, there is a difference. – c.p. Apr 6 '15 at 18:47
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    Shouldn't we also point to the differences that mainly come from the correct use of grammatical cases here? This may not be so obvious for a learner. – Takkat Apr 6 '15 at 21:10
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Your sentence is not correct, but that is due to word order and grammar, as Ingmar pointed out in the older answer, not due to the damit.

Damit does not link two clauses (main and/or subordinate clause to subordinate clause), but it rather opens a subordinate clause. Compare the following examples:

Damit ich heute noch mit meiner Arbeit fertigwerde, mache ich eine kürzere Mittagspause.
Wenn ich die Sonnenbrille aufsetzen muss, damit ich etwas sehe, muss es hell am Himmel sein.
Ich gehe in die Schule, damit ich etwas lerne.

The only common feature of these three sentences is that whatever followes damit until the next comma (or full stop) is a subordinate clause (a final clause, if you want to be exact). It states the purpose of the part it is related to; usually the preceding clause, but if there is no preceding one (first example) the following clause. So it is possible for damit to stand between two subordinate clauses.


Your grammar issues boil down to wrong cases: jemandem etwas sagen requires the dative for the person (sie hat mir gesagt), and etwas wohin schicken requires the accusative for the object (sie hat ihn geschickt).

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