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"When the time is right, it'll all fall into place."

Hvad er en ledsætning?

What is a subordinate clause?

- A sentence that cannot stand alone.

- A sentence that DOESN'T make sense on its own. 

- An incomplete sentence. 


For example: 

Fordi jeg åbenbart elsker det.

Because I apparently love it / because apparently, I love it.


This sentence, in a way, doesn’t make sense on its own. The words make sense, but it is missing something. If I randomly said to you, “because I apparently love it,” you would be waiting for the rest of the story, right? What do you love? 


The conjunction fordi meaning because makes this sentence very unclear.



Hvad er ordstillingen i en ledsætning? 

What is the word order in a subordinate clause?


Let’s take the above example.


K        S    A              V 

Fordi jeg åbenbart elsker det.

Because I apparently love it / because apparently, I love it.


So, let’s forget about the word fordi for a second as this is the conjunction


As you can see, the word order is: subject, adverb, verb 

Jeg = subject

åbenbart = adverb

elsker = verb


It’s important that the adverb comes before the verb in this kind of sentence. This structure combined with the previous class on hovedsætninger is the foundation of Danish grammar. 



Subordinate clause conjunctions

In the last class/video, we looked at the five main clause conjunctions. Can you remember them?


The five main clause conjunctions are:

  • Og (and)

  • For (because)

  • Eller (or)

  • Men (but)

  • (so)


So, basically all the rest belong to ledsætninger. Here are a few of the most common:


Fordi (Because)

Selvom (even though, despite)

Hvis (if)

Mens (while)

Imens (Whilst, in the meantime)

Når (When)

Der (That)

Som (Who, that)


So, when using one of these or one of the many others when connecting two sentences (if it’s not from the list of the five main clause conjunctions) you know that you have a ledsætning and thus your word order should be: subject, adverb, verb.


For example:

Let’s take the main clause from the last class and connect it with our new subordinate clause.


S     V           A                                     K      S      A              V

Jeg danser altid om morgenen, fordi jeg åbenbart elsker det.  

I always dance in the morning because I apparently love it.


Now we have a main clause and a subordinate joined by a subordinate clause conjunction. 


Jeg = subject

Danser = verb 

Altid = adverb

  • Fordi = ls conjunction

Jeg = subject

Åbenbart = adverb

Elsker = verb


Quick summary

Hovedsætinger = SVA

Ledsætninger = SAV 


Here is one more example:

Hovedsætningen                          Ledsætningen

S            V        A                                  K            S       A            V

Min kat hader faktisk kattemad, selvom den normalt spiser det. 

My cat actually hates catfood, even though it normally eats it.


Min kat = subject

Hader = verb

Faktisk = adverb

  • Selvom = Subordinate clause conjunction

Den = subject

Normalt = adverb

Spiser = verb

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