How to use "obwohl" in a German sentence

The longer you study German, the more complicated the sentence structures become. Therefore, we will discuss in this article everything you need to know about the German “obwohl”. 

The meaning of "obwohl"

The translation for the German word “obwohl” is “although.” This means you should use it if you wish to show a specific contrast 

It belongs to the group of subordinating conjunctions which reflects words that form a link between a dependent clause to an independent clause. This means the sentence adds informative value to the main idea of the message. By adding “obwohl” to your sentence, you can show a contrast as you do with “although.”

You can listen to the proper pronunciation of “obwohl” here.

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Recommended study materials on the topic:

  1. B-Grammar: Practice German grammar (incl. answers)
  2. German self-study book for A1-B1  (incl. answers)

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Position of verb

Obwohl always introduces a subordinate clause that cannot stand without the main clause. In German, this always means that the finite verb (the verb you usually change according to the subject) has to change its position. You can imagine that by adding this word there is not enough space at the beginning anymore, and therefore, the verb has to go to the very end. You might remember the same phenomenon from “weil.”

For example:

  • Ich gehe zur Schule. Ich bin krank.
  • Ich gehe zur Schule, obwohl ich krank bin

 

Sentence order

When forming sentences with “obwohl,” you can decide which part you want to start with. However, if you start with “obwohl,” you need to keep in mind that you will have started the second part of your sentence with the verb. 

  • Ich gehe auf die Party, obwohl ich müde bin
  • Obwohl ich müde bingehe ich auf die Party.

 

Commas

You will always have to separate the two parts of an “obwohl” sentence with a comma, no matter with which part of the sentence you start. 

  • Wir hatten einen schönen Tag, obwohl es geregnet hat. 
  • Obwohl es geregnet hat, hatten wir einen schönen Tag.

 

Getting things in order

I hope that this short explanation sheds some light on the question of “How to use “obwohl” in a German sentence”?

If you want to read more about subordinating conjunctions, check out when to use “dass” in German. 

Bis bald!

Steffie

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