I wrote a sentence and asked for correction. The first one is my attempt, the second one is the answer I got. The thing is that I don't understand the position of 'aber' as 'but'. I thought the conjunctions were always placed in the first position

'Das erste Mal, dass ich Guardiola Deutsch zu sprechen angehört habe, war ich eifersüchtig und dachte 'Ich muss Deutsch lernen', aber ich glaubte, dass Deutsch eine schwere Sprache war. Am Anfang habe ich nicht verstanden, aber jetzt glaube ich, dass ist sie einfach'

Als ich Guardiola das erste Mal Deutsch sprechen gehört habe, war ich eifersüchtig und dachte 'Ich muss (auch) Deutsch lernen'. Ich glaubte (zu diesem Zeitpunkt) aber, dass es eine schwere Sprache war. Am Anfang habe ich es/sie (das Deutsche/ die deutsche Sprache) nicht verstanden, glaube jetzt aber, dass sie/es einfach ist.

  • Both variants are correct and I see nearly no difference. It's sounds just a bit difference, but that's something hardly explainable. Also for the semantic I see no difference. (I'm a native speaker.)
    – Nick
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:22
  • 1
    Hello Deuler_1, welcome to German Stackexchange! I removed your last sentence, because it is irrelevant for answering the questions :) I also corrected some minor spelling mistakes in your German. Feel free to write a comment below if you don't unterstand my corrections.
    – Iris
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:39
  • Could you please post a correction of my original text? I like to compare different versions from native speakers
    – Deuler 1
    Feb 13, 2020 at 18:19
  • 'Das erste Mal, als ich Guardiola Deutsch sprechen hörte, war ich eifersüchtig und dachte 'Ich muss Deutsch lernen', aber ich glaubte, dass Deutsch eine schwere Sprache sei. Am Anfang habe ich sie nicht verstanden, aber jetzt glaube ich, dass sie einfach ist.' It's possible to say it like this, but the corrected version in your post sounds more idiomatic. Feb 14, 2020 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


Actually, there is no definite rule for the placement of "aber". It's much more a matter of frequency and of "feeling". So you could either say: "Ich möchte Deutsch lernen, aber es ist schwer" or "Ich möchte Deutsch lernen, es ist aber schwer". No difference in meaning and emphasis, as @Nick pointed out above. Your case is a bit more complicated because there is a lot of embedding. Your initial version, though, is perfectly fine. The correction probably aimed to stop your cascade of subordinates and incoordinates.

  • Could you please rephrase my paragraph with your version? I'm trying to figure this out since I started learning German earlier this week and I'm not sure about anything
    – Deuler 1
    Feb 13, 2020 at 18:22
  • It's true though. I don't know how to explain it
    – Deuler 1
    Feb 13, 2020 at 19:02
  • Ok, I'm gonna explain it to you (if you allow me to do so). I've never studied German formally, I just listened to songs and watched some YT videos with subtitles, I just know how to learn verb conjugation quickly from my French studies, but I know nothing about German. I don't know if it's hard to believe, but I learnt word order from YT videos as well. I literally have zero German vocabulary. I might understand simple texts with the help of a dict. I'm serious, I don't mean to offend you or joke around
    – Deuler 1
    Feb 14, 2020 at 1:25

In contrast to your sentence, the second variant does not use "aber" as conjunction, as it's in a separate sentence. So in the latter there is no need to have it at the beginning.

  • "Aber" functionally remains a conjunction despite its postposition.
    – Nico
    Feb 12, 2020 at 16:58

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