German Coordinating Conjunctions

Overview

The coordinating conjunctions do not modify the position of the verb in the clause.

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In English and in German, conjunctions are used to combine two clauses together. There are independent (main) and dependent (subordinate) clauses. Independent clauses are sentences that can stand alone and still make perfect sense (hence: “independent). We can combine two independent clauses using a coordinating conjunction (koordinierende Konjunktion), which does not alter the word order of the joined clauses.

Examples:
Ich spiele Basketball. Er spielt Fussball. (I play basketball. He plays soccer.)

These are two main/independent clauses. I can combine the two by using a coordinating conjunction. I can, for example, use “und” (and)

Ich spiele Basketball und er spielt Fussball. (I play basketball and he plays soccer. 

Notice how the word order remained the same in both main clauses, even after they were joined together with “und”. 

The coordinating conjunctions are:

coordinating conjunctions jpg

When the subject (and the verb) are the same in both clauses, often we can abbreviate the second main clause. 

Examples:
Er spielt nicht Gitarre, sondern (er spielt) Bass.  -> Subject and verb are the same
Ich putze das Badezimmer, und (ich) mache Hausaufgaben. -> Subject is the same

When an independent clause is combined with a dependent clauses (a clause that cannot stand alone, and “depends” on the main clause) we need to use  subordinating conjunctions (subordinierende / unterordnende Konjunktion). These conjunctions change the word order of the dependent clauses they appear in by shifting the conjugated (finite) verb to the end of the clause (not necessarily the end of the whole sentence.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
Reading:
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
Listening:
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.