Giving reasons

We use the words weil (because), da (since) and denn (because) to give the reason for something.

‑Warum esst ihr? ‑Wir essen, weil wir Hunger haben.

‑Why are you eating? ‑We're eating because we're hungry.

‑Weshalb essen sie Rösti? ‑Da sie in Zürich sind, essen sie Rösti.

‑Why are they eating rösti? Since they're in Zurich, they're eating rösti.

These words have different effects on word order:

  • denn: the position of the verb doesn't change.

Ich singe, denn ich bin verliebt.

I'm singing because I'm in love.

  • weil or da: the verb goes to the end of the sentence.

Ich singe, weil ich verliebt bin.

I'm singing because I'm in love.

Er bellt, da er ein Hund ist.

He's barking because he's a dog.

Note: da and weil (but not denn) can come at the start of the sentence, in which case the verb comes before the subject in the second half of the sentence.

Da ich müde bin, bleibe ich im Bett.

Since I'm tired, I'm staying in bed.

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