Wir haben auf den Lehrer gewartet als passierte der Unfall.

Does this sound natural?

  • You can only have one conjugated verb per clause. That means the part with als is a second clause. You need a comma in front of it and it has to follow the word order rule of dependent clauses. Try again. – Janka Apr 21 '19 at 16:57
  • So how should the sentence look then? – Rare Apr 21 '19 at 17:30
  • 2
    Dependent clauses have their conjugated verb at the end in German. – Janka Apr 21 '19 at 18:16

Wir haben auf den Lehrer gewartet, als der Unfall passierte.

That would be the right way of saying it. An alternative would be: Wir haben auf den Lehrer gewartet, während der Unfall passierte.

  • während implies that they we were still waiting while the accident was in the process of going down, ie. it didn't happen to us. And it doesn't sound right for other reasons, too. Following this fine answer, it seems the sentence better had say "Als wir auf den Lehrer warteten, passierte der Unfall"; Although I would accept your first variant, and therefore don't quite agree with that answer, it sounds authoritative and may be helpful for good style. Is subordinating the "als" clause trying to parallel English "..., when ..."? – vectory Apr 22 '19 at 20:41
  • Umgangssprachlich würde ich beide Aussagen als valide durchgehen lassen. Dein Vorschlag ist natürlich sauberer, nur wollte ich die vorgegebene Satzstellung nicht ändern. – Peter Apr 22 '19 at 21:47
  • but only assuming that the accident didn't happen to us, which is not at all clear without any context. – vectory Apr 22 '19 at 22:38

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