The Difference Between Main Clauses and Subordinate Clauses

Do you prefer to read this lesson difference between Main clause & Subordinate clause in German? Switch language now!

Main Clause (Hauptsätze)

Main Clauses are grammatically complete sentences that can stand alone. They usually consist of Subject, Verb and Object.

The Conjugated verb is always in Position 2.

  • „Ich komme aus Deutschland.“

Subordinate Clause (Nebensätze)

Subordinate Clauses usually cannot stand alone because some information is missing without which the sentence makes no sense.

The Conjugated verb is at the end.

  • „ …, das ich gestern verloren habe.

Recommendation: The different Subordinate Clauses

There are many different Subordinating Clauses. Most are introduced by Subordinating Conjunctions. Relative Clauses are introduced by Relative Pronouns, and Infinitive Clauses don't need a word at all to trigger the subordinate clause. If you have trouble with subordinate clauses, I recommend my lesson: The Subordinate Clause

Sentence Structure in General (Satzbau im Allgemeinen)

In German, sentence structure and word order are much more flexible than in other languages.

There are 2 main factors that influence Sentence Structure:

  • How important is the information?

Of course, not everything is possible. I'll explain what other rules you need to follow in the other lessons on Sentence Structure.

Related Topics:

Entire lesson in German only: Der unterschied zw. Hauptsätze und Nebensätze

More information on Sentence Structure and Word order:

You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar.

Recommendation: Free video lessons every Tuesday & Thursday

Sign up now: Email German Grammar course

Special offer: 5 Ebooks for free!

All German EasyDeutsch Ebooks - 5 plus 5! (5 x 17 = 85)

Buy 5 Ebooks together now and get the other 5 for free!

  1. EasyGerman - German Grammar (Preview)
  2. DaF Grammar Trainer - 300 Exercises (Preview)
  3. 137 German Prepositions (Preview)
  4. Intensive Trainer: German Prepositions (Preview)
  5. Connectors - Conjunctions, Subjunctions, Conjunctional Adverbs (Preview)
  6. 40+ Grammar Lists - Free (Preview)
  7. Nominative, Accusative, Dative or Genitive? - Free (Preview)
  8. Intensive Trainer: German Cases - Free (Preview)
  9. 200+ pages of Grammar Exercises: Level A1-A2 - Free (Preview)
  10. 200+ pages of Grammar Exercises: Level B1-B2 -Free (Preview)


Over 100 ready-to-teach grammar units on all topics of German grammar (A1-B2)

Perfect as homework or for self-learners!

85€ - 219€

Accept gifts and...