I sometimes get confused when I read sentences like this:

Die Menschen dort sind sehr freundlich, habe ich gehört.

Es war eine Karnevalssitzung, erklärte mir einer der Ärzte.

Aber es gibt Arbeit hier, sagen die Statistiken.

In these sentences, the starting clauses are not subordinate as the verbs don't come at the end, rather they come in the second position as in a main clause. So why do the second clauses start with verbs? Wouldn't it be the case only when there is a subordinate clause that comes first in the sentence? For example:

Als wir fertig waren, gingen wir nach Hause.

  • Quoth the raven, ...
    – Carsten S
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


There are subordinate clauses in which the verb doesn't come at the end.

This is often the case when the subordinate clause is not introduced by a conjunction (uneingeleiteter Nebensatz).

Example with verb in first position (Uneingeleiteter konditionaler Nebensatz):

Kommt der Bus nicht, gehen wir zu Fuß.

which is equivalent to:

Wenn der Bus nicht kommt, gehen wir zu Fuß.

Example with verb in second position (Uneingeleiteter Objektsatz):

Ich hoffe, ich habe dir geholfen.

Different order of clauses, similar to the examples:

Ich habe dir geholfen, hoffe ich.

Both are equivalent to:

Ich hoffe, dass ich dir geholfen habe.

  • @mic Yes, the one above is a conditional one. Nevertheless a good explanation in my opinion.
    – Nico
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 14:49
  • Right, causal would be weil, which can't be omitted.
    – RHa
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 15:14
  • If they are subordinate clauses, can I say: Es war eine Karnevalssitzung, einer der Ärzte erklärte mir or Einer der Ärtze erklärte mir, es war eine Karnevalssitzung ?
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 18:07
  • 1
    Only the latter is correct. The first has to be Es war eine Karnevalssitzung, erklärte mir einer der Ärzte because the subordinate clause is the first part of the sentence and the verb must follow.
    – RHa
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 18:48

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