German Grammar Explained /

Two-part conjunctions

No matter how good your German already is, there are always some tricks that you can learn so that you can express yourself better :)
Today, you’re going to learn about two-part conjunctions, zweiteilige Konnektoren. They are used to connect two main (independent) clauses or two parts of a sentence.
Two-part conjunctions are like best friends. They always want to do everything together and if you see or hear one, you know that the other one is not going to be far behind. You can’t use just one without the other and they can’t go with anyone besides their bestie.
Because they always come in specific pairs, the best way to remember them is to learn each pair as a unit.
Two-part conjunctions, also known as compound conjunctions, are used to describe the relationships between two things or two situations.
Let’s divide them by the function that they carry out:
Compound conjunctions
Function
nicht nur... sondern auch
not only...but also
positive Aufzählung
positive listing
sowohl... als auch
both...and also
positive Aufzählung
positive listing
weder... noch
neither...nor
negative Aufzählung
negative listing
entweder... oder
either...or
Alternative
einerseits... andererseits
on the one hand...on the other
Gegensatz
contrast
zwar... aber
indeed (x)...but (y)
Einschränkung (positiv ↔ negativ)
limitation (positive ↔ negative)
The first part of a two-part conjunction can be placed in various places in a sentence but the second part is always in the same place (oder and aber stay in position 0).
​Wir gehen heute
entweder zum Italiener
oder (wir gehen) in das griechische Restaurant.
Entweder gehen wir
heute zum Italiener
oder (wir gehen) in das griechische Restaurant.
Wir sehen uns
zwar nicht oft,
aber wir bleiben Freunde.
Zwar sehen wir uns
nicht oft,
aber wir bleiben Freunde.
Two-part conjunctions are great for expressing yourself in a clear way and being able to make well thought out points in discussions :)