Which is the correct form of usage?

Deswegen bin ich krank.
Ich bin krank deswegen.

  • 3
    "Deswegen" is an reflexive adverb and draws a conclusion from a previous sentence/statement. Without such a previous statement, it sounds always strange. – Iris Sep 28 '16 at 10:33
  • 1
    @Iris Is "deswegen" a "reflexive adverb" and not a conjunctive adverb / Konjunktionaladverb? – Tsundoku Sep 28 '16 at 17:30
  • @Christophe Strobbe, I am not sure about the exact grammatical names. In wiktionary 'deswegen' is called 'rückbezügliches Adverb'. Reflexive adverb is my translation of the German term. de.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/deswegen – Iris Sep 29 '16 at 7:33
  • 1
    @Iris The Duden Grammatik (9th ed.) has a section about the Konnektoradverb or Konjunktionaladverb that contains the following example: "Er war verletzt, deswegen musste er ins Krankenhaus". The The Duden Grammatik does not know the term "rückbezügliches Adverb". – Tsundoku Sep 29 '16 at 18:34
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    @Christophe Strobbe, then Duden is probably right! – Iris Sep 30 '16 at 7:58

Neither of the two can be used without another sentence the deswegen refers to, but both are possible, depending on the context in which they are used. The emphasis would be different, however.

For example:

Ich habe verdorbenen Saft getrunken. Deswegen bin ich krank.

This means that you are sick, because you drank foul juice.

Ich habe verdorbenen Saft getrunken. Ich bin krank deswegen.

This means that you drank foul juice and because of that you are sick now. Not just a little unwell, but really sick.

  • 8
    Are you sure there's a different meaning? I would say it's exactly the same. Deswegen is an Adverb and can be used at the beginning, in the middle and in the end of a sentence. – Alon Dattner Sep 28 '16 at 14:52
  • Whoops, I never answered that comment. Actually, the different meaning comes from different emphasis, which is suggested by the different word order. While deswegen bin ich krank usually puts the emphasis on the deswegen and thus the fact that the juice was the cause, ich bin krank deswegen puts the emphasis on the fact that the person is sick. You would not emphasize both words (krank und deswegen) in the second version of the word order, while you could do so in the first version. – Thorsten Dittmar May 11 '20 at 12:36

Usually the more important stuff comes first.


Deswegen bin ich krank.

the focus in on the cause of being sick.

Warum warst du denn heute nicht in der Schule?

Ich habe verdorbene Muscheln gegessen. Deswegen bin ich krank.


Ich bin krank deswegen.

the focus is on the effect.

Warum machst du so ein Theater wegen eines Bienenstichs?

Ich bin krank deswegen. Das ist kein Theater. Ich reagiere allergisch auf Bienenstiche.

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