I am using an app called Duolingo to practice learning German through assimilation techniques however I have come across something that is a bit confusing to me in a a way, regarding the way that words should be placed. In the following example you will see what I am talking about:

Translate Into German

The dog is strong although he is old.

I end up putting in:

Der Hund ist stark, obwohl er ist alt.

However the actual translation that they are looking for is:

Der Hund ist stark, obwohl er alt ist.

Would anyone know the proper rules for this so I can I figure out why this is and when? Thanks!

  • 1
    It is not about the adjective. The subordinate clausule that obwohl induces sends the verb to the last position.
    – c.p.
    Nov 16, 2013 at 9:50
  • Hmmm okay, I will have to look that up. I wasn't sure what it was called. Nov 16, 2013 at 10:00
  • That's called Prädikativum, or more precisely here Prädikatsnomen (predicative noun). It's the complement to the predicate. In "Er ist alt" 'Er' is the subject and 'ist alt' is the predicate. 'ist' again is called Kopula (linking verb) and we already talked about 'alt' :) This is the English Wiki article
    – Em1
    Nov 16, 2013 at 20:43
  • But.. Besides.. what is a "conjoined verb"?
    – Em1
    Nov 16, 2013 at 20:48
  • I was thinking the way to describe the verb after a conjunction was 'conjoined'. I clearly do not remember the grammatical terms like I should lol. Dec 5, 2013 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Obwohl is a subordinating conjunction. That means that in that clause it sends the verb(s) to the end. Some common subordinating conjunctions are dass, damit, wenn, als. And there are lots more.

Ich will, dass du mitkommst.

Ich bringe es mit, damit Max es benutzen kann.

You can find further information on conjunctions and their usages on the Internet.

  • Thanks, I hadn't had time to go look it up yet, are there other types of conjunctions that I should know about? Nov 16, 2013 at 10:28
  • 2
    There are coordinating conjunctions (aber, denn, und, oder) and they don't change the word order or occupy a word order position. That's why it's "Die Party ist am Montag, aber ich gehe nicht", and NOT "...,aber gehe ich nicht" and also NOT "..., aber ich nicht gehe"
    – thekeyofgb
    Nov 16, 2013 at 10:48

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