In this week’s lyrical analysis video I talked about subordinate clauses in German with the song “Ich will nur” by Philipp Poisel. This song mostly uses the subordinating conjunctions that I talked about in the post about the song “Traum” by Cro. Since I have obviously covered that already in a very similar post, I will instead focus on the minority of the sentences I mentioned in the video, which used demonstrative pronouns. If you want to know exactly what I said about the song, you can find my analysis video below followed by the music video for “Ich will nur”. If you want to learn more about the demonstrative pronouns, you should keep scrolling.
As I mentioned in the video, generally speaking, the demonstrative pronouns look like der-words. (Point of interest: This blog will be using the term “demonstrative pronouns” to refer to both demonstrative pronouns and relative pronouns. The only actual difference is that the relative pronouns are used in relative clauses, while the demonstrative pronouns are not.) This is true for all except the dative plural and all of the genitive forms. The full chart is below, but you should also probably understand when you should use them. Most of the time, the demonstrative pronoun is in the same sentence as the noun to which it refers. It is also usually used in a subordinate clause, which means the conjugated verb goes to the end. Most of the examples I will be giving in this blog will follow this pattern, but I will also give a few examples that stand in their own sentence, which means they don’t affect the word order in any way.
Below the chart you can find examples using every demonstrative pronoun in the chart. I will do them in order of cases and genders of nouns.
Was hälst du von diesem Computer? – What do you think of this computer?
Der ist zu alt. – That is too old.
Wie findest du diese Halskette? – What do you think of this necklace?
Die ist zu grell. – That is too garish.
Willst du ins Kino gehen? – Do you want to go to the movies?
Das ist nicht mein Geschmack. – That isn’t my taste.
Wie gefällt dir meine Schuhe? – How do you like my shoes?
Die sind schön. – They are beautiful.
Der Schuh, den ich geworfen habe, gehört meinem Vater. – The shoe that I threw belongs to my father.
Die Halskette, die ich gekauft habe, ist aus Gold gemacht. – The necklace that I bought is made of gold.
Das Pferd, das meine Schwester füttert, ist tot. – The horse that my sister feeds is dead.
Ich habe dieselben Handschuhe gekauft, die meine Mutter gekauft hat. – I bought the same gloves that my mother bought.
Der Vogel, dem ich geholfen habe, ist wieder gesund. – The bird that I helped is healthy again.
Die Giraffe, der mein Bruder das Futter gegeben hat, steht da drüben. – The giraffe to whom my brother gave the food is standing over there.
Wir haben das Kind, dem der Polizist geholfen hat, nie wieder gesehen. – We never saw the child that the police officer helped again.
Wo sind die Kinder, denen wir Schokolade geben sollen? – Where are the children whom we are supposed to give chocolate?
Der Autor, dessen Buch ich gerade lese, ist nur vierundzwanzig Jahre alt. – The author whose book I am currently reading is only 24 years old.
Meine Schwiegermutter, deren Tochter ich geheiratet habe, ist nach England geflogen. – My mother-in-law, whose daughter I married, flew to England.
Ich mag das Restaurant, dessen Speise ich heute probiert habe. – I like the restaurant whose food I tried today.
Diese Kinder, deren Hose zu groẞ ist, mag ich nicht. – I don’t like these children whose pants are too big.
If you want more information about how to figure out where to put the verb in a sentence using a demonstrative pronoun, you simply need to follow the rules you would for any other subordinate clause. If you need to figure out exactly what those rules are, you should read my blog post about that here.
Next Wednesday, I will upload the first of several videos that will attempt to clarify some grammar terminology, which should keep you from misunderstanding what someone says when you are talking about grammar in German.