I read that a comma before bis is only necessary if there is a nebensatz following. Would I need the comma in the following sentence before "bis"? I think that there is no Nebensatz following so it should be unnecessary/wrong?

Die deutsche Regierung plant, bis zum Jahr 5000 zusätzliche Kapazitäten von 8000 zu errichten, danach jährlich 10000.

2 Answers 2


The part "bis zum Jahr 5000 zusätzliche Kapazitäten von 8000 zu errichten" is called an "erweiterter Infinitiv". You can separate it with a comma from the main clause, but you don't need to.

In this case, it makes sense to put a comma to clarify that "bis zum Jahr 5000" is part of the infinitive clause, not the main clause. It's not the planning that takes until the year 5000.

Generally, if the "erweiterter Infinitiv" clause is longer than a few words, it helps to put a comma.

  • 1
    And not that anybody cares, but when I went to school this kind of comma was mandatory.
    – Carsten S
    Jul 27, 2021 at 9:10
  • It was mandatory for a good reason imho. Without it, as the answer states, you could confuse the meaning and think the gov. will plan until year 5000. It kind of feels like rules have been eased so it's "easier" to get it correct, but at the cost of clearness.
    – riha
    Oct 22, 2021 at 9:24

You don't need to use a comma for bis in this sentence but you can, which makes the sentence clearer (see the accepted answer).

As you said right, you would use a comma before bis when it introduces a Nebensatz.

In general, for sentences that use connections/links as bis auf or bis zu, bis zum it's not necessary to use a comma.

See e.g. the explanation under https://www.korrekturen.de/kommasetzung/bis.shtml for more examples.

  • 1
    The examples using "bis auf" or "bis zu" in the linked page don't contain an infinitve with "zu" and therefore don't really match the example from the question.
    – Bodo
    Jul 27, 2021 at 14:03
  • I agree, literally misread it as year 5000. I will change my answer accordingly. Thank you!
    – Hannah
    Jul 27, 2021 at 14:05

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