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I have this sentence:

Da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben, müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

I don't get, why is the verb (haben) at the end of the first sentence and not at the second place as it should be. Why is that so ?

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  • Subordinate clause (Gliedsatz) – idmean Jul 21 '20 at 12:31
  • I will look that up, thanks. – John Ronald Jul 21 '20 at 12:37
  • The order here is subordinate clause + main clause. This slightly puts more stress on the subordinate clause but it has the same meaning as "Wir müssen nun einen Großeinkauf machen, da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben.", which has the expected place for the verb in the main clause. Btw. I would use past perfect ("hatten") instead of present perfect. – Roland Jul 21 '20 at 12:46
  • Da is a subjunction (in this case). The verb never comes directly after a subjunction (but in the end of the subclause). By the way, it's weird to call this weird. It's standard in German subclauses and in many other languages like Hungarian and Latin. – amadeusamadeus Jul 21 '20 at 14:24
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Just today I wrote an answer to another question, that also deals with sentence structures. Please read this other answer for more details.

So, I can make it short here. The part that I marked bold and italics here is a subordinate clause:

Da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben, müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

Subordinate clauses only exist together with a subordinating conjunction like da, weil, als, wenn, obwohl, bevor, während, nachdem, damit, dass and ob, so some people argue, that this conjunction also belongs to the subordinate clause. But technically it is not. It is just the glue that joins it to the main clause.

This subordinate clause (now together with the subordinating conjunction "da") is one part of speech in the main clause. So, all the bold marked words in the next quote together occupy only one position in the main clause:

Da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben, müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

You can replace this 13 words long part of speech with just one word if you want (which of coarse changes the semantic meaning, but leaves the grammatical structure of the main clause unchanged):

Außerdem müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

"machen müssen" is the predicate of the main clause:

Da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben, müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

Since the main clause is a statement, exactly one word from the predicate must stand at position 2 of the statement, and here this is the modal verb müssen. All other parts of the predicate (here only the full verb machen) must be put to the end of the sentence.


The predicate of the subordinate clause is eingeladen haben:

Da wir am Wochenende viele von unseren Freunden zu einer Party eingeladen haben, müssen wir nun einen Großeinkauf machen.

But since it is nit a statement, but a subordinate clause, all parts of the predicate must stand at the end of the sentence.

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  • Confusingly, some subordinate clauses may get along without conjunction - in which case the verb is neither second nor at the end, but first: "Laden wir viele Freunde ein, so machen wir zuvor einen Grioßeinkauf" – Hagen von Eitzen Jul 24 '20 at 20:51

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