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I'm learning German by myself and the conjunctions started to make me crazy, therefore I can't understand why the grammar of the sentence is totally different when we use conjunctions.

And, do these sentences mean exactly the same or not?

  1. Wir mögen sie, weil sie magt uns.
  2. Weil er uns mag, mögen wir ihn.
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    Welcome to German.SE. Did you mean your examples you wrote them? Because 1st example has some spelling errors which I don't want to correct if you know them by yourself. In case you don't see them, it is fine, correcting them then will become part of an answer. Feb 19 '20 at 9:39
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    As the errors have nothing to do with your question, this is my assumption of what you intended to write: Wir mögen sie, weil sie uns mag. I'm not fully sure about the necessity of the comma, so I leave it untouched. While correcting: "conjunction" also in title, please. And avoid "quick question". And no "drives me craze" - more a neutral description of your problem. Thanks. Feb 19 '20 at 9:52
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    @ShegitBrahm The word order is acceptable, as nowadays the verb no longer needs to be at the end in a subordinate clause; though it is more colloquial. Feb 19 '20 at 10:00
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    @Oliver Mason: I don't know who told you that, but it's plain out wrong. Many people mix up weil and denn, though. Denn means the same as weil but its dependent clause has main clause order.
    – Janka
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:54
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    @Janka Nobody told me that. It's based on my own experience of speaking German for about 50 years. Feb 19 '20 at 14:56
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The sentences would mean the same, if you used the same pronoun in both sentences, like:

1) Wir mögen sie, weil sie uns mag.

2) Weil sie uns mag, mögen wir sie.

German word order rules require (with some conjunctions as exception) that in sub-clauses (e.g. one starting with "weil") the conjugated verb goes to the end, while in main clauses it goes to the second position.

In sentence 1) the positions of the words are easy to count: the main clause has "mögen" at position two: Wir mögen sie, while the sub-clause starting with "weil" has "mag" at the end: weil sie uns mag.

In sentence 2) you count the same as in 1) in the sub-clause, just that the sub-clause is at the beginning. But the main clause: mögen wir sie, seemingly contradicts the rule, as it starts with "mögen". Here you have to known, that the preceding sub-clause as a whole counts as position one, which make "mögen" in accordance with the rule for main clauses be at second position.

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Why the grammar of the sentence is totally different when we use conjunctions?

The main clause is the exception. You just happen to learn it first, and those German examples you were taught resemble English word order. But that is because the examples are deliberately chosen that way. German does not follow English word order at all.

The default German word order puts all predicate verbs to the end of the clause, in reverse order of importance. The finite verb ends up as the last word in the clause.

Deviating from that general rule, in declarative main clauses the stem of the finite verb (and only that stem!) is moved to second position instead. All in front of it is one huge item, the topic of the main clause. That stem is used as a kind of marker that splits the topic from the rest of the main clause.

Only in the narrow corner case of a main clause with the subject being the topic, and the tense not using an auxiliary, German sentences roughly resemble English sentences.

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  • "The default German word order puts all predicate verbs to the end of the clause, in reverse order of importance. The finite verb ends up as the last word in the clause". This does not hold at all. " Ich esse jeden Tag mit Freunden". You are probably referring to subordinated clauses.
    – Nico
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:53
  • I seriously doubt you've read my answer thoroughly. Otherwise you would have understood what it means and that it is in fact correct. (Yes, it challenges your prior knowlegde. That doesn't make it wrong.)
    – Janka
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:57
  • Yes, I have and a statement like "The default German word order puts all predicate verbs to the end of the clause, in reverse order of importance. The finite verb ends up as the last word in the clause" is simply not correct unless you distinguish between main and subordinated clauses. By the way, what do you mean by "reverse order of importance"? What do you mean by "stem of the finite verb"? It would be nice if you could illustrate your whole assertion through a short example.
    – Nico
    Feb 19 '20 at 14:58
  • My answer distinguishes main and dependent clauses from the first few words on. If you can't see that there's nothing I could do.
    – Janka
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:16
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    The main clause is the exception. What do you don't understand about this sentence? It's simple.
    – Janka
    Feb 19 '20 at 15:20

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