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I am trying to write "..., so that he could have a car and other niceties" and I have it translated to "..., damit er ein Auto und andere Annehmlichkeiten haben konnte."

I am getting tripped up with word order because of the combination of the "Präteritum" form of "können" and the "Präsens" of "haben" in a subordinate clause.

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  • niceties? This is the first time I've heard this word
    – Babu
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 7:35
  • I wonder what tense this is 🤔
    – Babu
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 7:36

1 Answer 1

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In a main clause the modal verb is finite and is put in second position: Er konnte ein Auto und andere Annehmlichkeiten haben. Everything is the same in a subordinate clause except that the finite verb is placed at the end: ... damit er ein Auto und andere Annehmlichkeiten haben konnte. Part of your premise is wrong; haben is in the infinitive, and so is not present, past, or any other tense.

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