How to give a reason in German

How to give a reason in German
You don’t know how to give a reason in German? The time has come to change that! After reading this article you will know how to explain yourself like a pro!

In German, there are three main possibilities to name a reason: weil, da, and denn. They all can be translated with “because” or “as” but “denn” also stands for the English “since” with which one of course also can give a reason.

The sentence part, which includes the given reason is a subordinate clause (the opposite of the main clause as: “Ich gehe jetzt schlafen”) which means that we need to take care of the word order as this applies to subordinate clauses in general.

Now, let’s have a look at what we need to do:

1. “Weil” is most likely the conjunction which is used the most. If you want to use it, you will need to send the verb to the end of the sentence. You can imagine that the “weil” is stealing its position in line and therefore it needs to line up all over again at the back:

 

Ich bin müde. Ich schlafe nicht gut.

ich bin müde, weil ich nicht gut schlafe.

 

Wir haben kein Geld. Wir haben keine Arbeit.

Wir haben kein Geld, weil wir keine Arbeit haben.

 

You can also flip the sentence and start with “weil”. But take care, that the second sentence part needs to start with a verb then:

 

Weil ich nicht gut schlafe, bin ich müde.

Weil wir keine Arbeit haben, haben wir kein Geld.

 

2. “Da” is the “little brother” of “weil” because it behaves the complete same way:

Ich bin müde. Ich schlafe nicht gut.

ich bin müde, da ich nicht gut schlafe.

 

Wir haben kein Geld. Wir haben keine Arbeit.

Wir haben kein Geld, da wir keine Arbeit haben.

 

You can also flip the sentence and start with “da”. But take care, that the second sentence part needs to start with a verb then:

 

Da ich nicht gut schlafe, bin ich müde.

Da wir keine Arbeit haben, haben wir kein Geld.

 

3. “Denn” differs a bit from the two previous conjunctions in the way that one simply needs to add a “normal” sentence after it:

 

Ich bin müde. Ich schlafe nicht gut.

ich bin müde, denn ich schlafe nicht gut.

 

Wir haben kein Geld. Wir haben keine Arbeit.

Wir haben kein Geld, denn wir haben keine Arbeit.

 

Normally, one does not use “denn” in order to start a sentence.

 

 

After reading this article you should know now how to give a reason in German.

 

Bis bald!

Steffie

 

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