I want to say "I'm a teacher because my parents told me so"

So far my research has led me to the word "wegen" (because of), so I guess the sentence would be

"Ich bin Lehrer wegen meinen Eltern"

Would it even make sense in German and is there (if there is) a better way to say the sentence?

  • 2
    But your sentence contains not "because of"? It has only "because"? – IQV Oct 31 '18 at 13:38
  • Was ist mit dem "told me so"? Man kann wegen seiner Eltern Lehrer werden um sie zu unterrichten, um sie zu ärgern, um ihren Anweisungen zu gehorchen oder weil man in deren Fahrwasser geriet - all dies lässt Deine deutsche Übersetzung offen. – user unknown Nov 1 '18 at 8:56
  • @userunknown oh, I thought it was obvious I asked about the "obey instructions" context – Andrew Chem. Nov 4 '18 at 8:32
  • @userunknown my bad – Andrew Chem. Nov 4 '18 at 8:51
  • @AndrewChem. No problem, just correct/clarify your question. – user unknown Nov 4 '18 at 11:42

Wegen is a preposition, not a conjunction. This means you can use it, but it you cannot easily use a subordinary clause.

Ich bin wegen meiner Eltern Lehrer geworden.

This says that you became a teacher because of your parents, but it is not clear whether you became a teacher because your parents told you so or because your parents were teachers and you wanted to practise the same profession.

More precise is:

Ich bin wegen des Rats meiner Eltern Lehrer geworden.

I became a teacher because of my parents' advise.

If you want to use a subordinary clause, weil is a better choice:

Ich bin Lehrer geworden, weil meine Eltern das so wollten.

I became a teacher because my parents wanted it.

Ich bin Lehrer geworden, weil meine Eltern es mir geraten haben.

I became a teacher because my parents advised me so.

You can use a subordinary clause with wegen, but this will become a bit complicated and stylistically dubious, e.g.:

Ich bin Lehrer geworden wegen der Tatsache, dass meine Eltern es mir geraten haben.

I became a teacher because of the fact that my parents advised me so.

  • Oh, the original sentence is quite vague indeed. And weil is better here, yeah. Makes sence. Btw, is geworden totally necessary in these sentences? – Andrew Chem. Nov 4 '18 at 9:30
  • 1
    Of course you can simply say Ich bin Lehrer. Ich bin ... geworden is just a phrase you see (IMHO more) often. – RHa Nov 4 '18 at 21:44

The preposition wegen takes the genitive case but many people don't know this. Word order tells about the code you are using:

Ich bin Lehrer wegen meinen Eltern. (uneducated)

Ich bin Lehrer wegen meiner Eltern. (street)

Ich bin wegen meiner Eltern Lehrer (geworden). (standard)

Ich bin meiner Eltern wegen Lehrer (geworden). (high-brow)

The latter uses wegen as a postposition, which is very classy – if you know which prepositions allow this, and if you know whether the required case changes or not. Here, it's also genitive.

  • 6
    To just dismiss the first variant with dative as "uneducated", isn't that a bit harsh? I'd say that's normal "Umgangssprache" especially in the south, wouldn't you agree? – Beta Oct 31 '18 at 13:53
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    I wouldn't label "wegen meinen Eltern" as uneducated, but rather as street since it is what you will most often hear in (colloquial) every day speech. – fragezeichen Oct 31 '18 at 13:53
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    Principally a very good, straightforward answer. However, I want to see the street where people say "Ich bin Lehrer wegen meiner Eltern". This must be a very elegant street. Or perhaps a German teachers' ghetto? The usual thing people say in oral, casual conversation is wegen meinen Eltern. Even people with high competence in language and style (professional writers etc.) do this in oral communication. – Christian Geiselmann Oct 31 '18 at 14:30
  • Mir rollen sich da einfach die Fußnägel hoch. – Janka Oct 31 '18 at 14:41
  • 1
    Das sind doch alles Übersetzungen für "because of my parents". Das "told me so" ist heimlich abgehauen, während wir gebannt auf den Genitiv achteten? – user unknown Nov 1 '18 at 8:52

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