What are Conjunctions?

Conjunctions combine words, phrases, and clauses with each other.

There are two main types:

  • Coordinating Conjunctions
  • Subordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions combine equal elements with each other: main clauses with main clauses, subordinate clauses with subordinate clauses, words with words, phrases with phrases, and sentence elements with sentence elements.

The coordinating conjunctions are: "außer," "denn," "und," "oder," "aber," "doch," and "sondern."


  • Tanja und Boris sehen fern.“
  • Fahren wir zu Oma oder bleiben wir zu Hause?“  

Multipart Conjunctions

Multipart conjunctions are a special type of coordinating conjunction. As their names suggests, they are made up of two parts.

Multipart conjunctions don't have any effect on word order.


  • „Ich war sowohl in Indien als auch in China.“
  • „Max war nicht nur in Brasilien, sondern auch in Kolumbien.“
  • „Max war weder in Brasilien noch in Kolumbien.“
  • „Meine Freundin ist zwar hübsch, aber nicht sehr intelligent.“
  • „Max will entweder nach Brasilien oder nach Peru fliegen.“

Multipart conjunctions usually come right before the part of the sentence they are related to. More info here: Multipart Conjunctions.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions combine main clauses and subordinate clauses.

Subordinating conjunctions always come at the start of the subordinate clause, and the clauses are separated with a comma.


  • „Ich fahre zu Oma, weil ich lange nicht mehr da war.“
  • „Ich weiß, dass du gelogen hast.“

The most important subordinating conjunctions:

Achtung Hinweis


You can find a list of ALL the subordinating conjunctions (all the words that send the main verb to the end of the clause) as part of my Package of 40+ Grammar Lists.

Related Topics:

Comprehensive look at individual types of conjunctions: subordinate conjunctions, temporal conjunctions, and multipart conjunctions.

Info about German conjunctions in general.

Subordinate Conjunctions: "dass," "weil/da," "obwohl," "damit," "wenn/falls," "so dass," "indemand "als/wenn."

In addition to conjunctions, there are also conjunctive adverbs.