Jedoch in the sense of however can be used either as a coordinate conjunction which does not affect the word order in a sentence or as an adverb which may affect the word order in a sentence. I am wondering when it should be used as a coordinate conjunction and when as an adverb. Does it depend on the context of meaning? And how does it depend on the context of meaning?

The following examples are quoted from Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache:

Examples for jedoch as a coordinate conjunction:

i) Die Polizei suchte ihn überall, fand ihn jedoch nicht.

ii) Die Polizei suchte ihn überall, jedoch sie fand ihn nicht.

As for example i), I am wondering why the coordinate conjunction jedoch is allowed to be positioned in the middle field of the clause it introduces? I presume coordinate conjunctions should always precede the whole clause.

As for example ii), I am wondering whether the subject sie of the consequent clause may be omitted so that the consequent clause becomes jedoch fand ihn nicht.

An example for jedoch as an adverb:

Wie es weitergeht, weiß niemand genau, es gilt jedoch als sicher, dass der Minister zurücktreten wird.

I am wondering why jedoch is recognized as an adverb in this example but as a coordinate conjunction in previous examples. Could anyone help explain this?

2 Answers 2


I would interpret "jedoch" in the adverbial usage as a modal particle (see wikipedia entry). It is not really part of the sentence but expresses the expectations of the speaker or listener. German does not have a subjunctive mood, so I think that is why these little words are used.

In the first two examples you cannot remove "jedoch" (or "aber"). "Die Polizei suchte ihn ueberall, sie fand ihn nicht." is not a sentence but two.

You can remove it in the third example: "Es gilt als sicher, dass der Minister zuruecktreten wird." or replace it by another modal particle "Es gilt eh/wohl/halt/schon als sicher, dass ...".


I'm not sure your distinction in usage between coordinating conjunction and adverb makes sense in the way you describe it. Canoo classifies jedoch as conjunctional adverb. For words of these class, the position in the sentence is (more or less) free, and it affects word order, like an adverb, while the function is the same as for a coordinating conjunction.

Here are all possible variants of your example sentences:

  • ..., jedoch fand sie ihn nicht
  • ..., jedoch fand ihn nicht
  • ..., fand ihn jedoch nicht
  • ..., jedoch sie fand ihn nicht
  • ..., es gilt jedoch als sicher
  • ..., jedoch gilt es als sicher
  • ..., jedoch es gilt als sicher

So I would see the usage where jedoch is in "zeroeth" position and does not affect word (marked with bold face) as an execption, where jedoch as actually used as a true conjunction and not a conjunctional adverb. This does not work in general for conjunctional adverbs, and it also puts emphasis on that sentence.

That matches the description in Langscheidt, it just doesn't fit the way you associated it with the example sentences.

And no, the two kinds of usage don't depend on context or meaning, they are purely a matter of style.

  • 3
    I’d consider jedoch sie fand ihn nicht dubious and jedoch fand ihn nicht plain wrong.
    – chirlu
    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:10
  • 3
    @chirlu Rather more aging than plain wrong in my opinion (both). But certainly not common practice in today's German. Fits into a poem or song, but not into everyday language.
    – tofro
    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:15
  • @chirlu: yes, like tofro said. Older German, but definitely not wrong. That's why I consider it an exception, and not normal usage. Google "jedoch er" or "jedoch sie" (with quotes) to find lots of examples of this usage.
    – dirkt
    Apr 22, 2016 at 6:52

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