So Dass (Consecutive Clauses)

What are Consecutive Clauses?

Consecutive clauses are subordinate clauses that describe a cause-and-effect relationship from the past. They begin with "so dass."

The cause goes in the main clause and the effect goes in the subordinate clause.

Example:

  • „Es regnete zu wenig, so dass viele Menschen kein Wasser zum Trinken hatten.“

Alternative Version

The "so" can also go in the main clause in front of the adjective (only if there is an adjective related to the the result):

  • „Es hat so wenig geregnet, dass viele Menschen kein Wasser zum Trinken hatten.
  • „Ich habe so viel gelernt, dass ich die Prüfung ohne Probleme bestanden habe.“
  • „Es hat so viel geregnet, dass die Stadt vom Fluss überschwemmt wurde.“

⇒ This version sounds better than the normal version with "so dass" together.

If there is no adjective, you can't use this version:

  • „Ich habe vergessen meine schönen Blumen zu gießen, so dass ich mir jetzt neue Blumen kaufen muss.“

You also can't use this version if there's an adverb in front of the adjective:

  • „Es war zu kalt, so dass ich nicht spazieren gehen konnte.“

In these last two examples no separated version is possible.

Other Possibilities

It is possible to express the same idea with the consecutive adverbs: "also," "daher," "darum," "deswegen," "deshalb," "folglich", "infolgedessen."

  • „Es regnete zu viel. Darum konnte ich nicht spazieren gehen.“ 
    = „Es regnete zu viel, so dass ich nicht spazieren gehen konnte.“

Summary

  • Consecutive clauses are subordinate clauses that express the result / consequence of something that already happened in the past.
  • They use the conjunction "so dass."
  • "So" can also be placed before an adjective in the main clause.
  • The same idea can be expressed with the consecutive adverbs "also," "daher," "darum," "deswegen," "deshalb," "folglich," and "infolgedessen."

Related Topics:

An overview of subordinate clauses.

Subordinate conjunctions and how to use them: "dass," "weil/da," "obwohl," "wenn/falls," "so dass," "indem," and "als/wenn."

Infinitive clauses (infinitive + "zu") and infinitive constructions ("um" / "anstatt" / "ohne… zu") are also subordinate clauses.

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