Concessionary phrase in the Spanish language

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Under a grant set or concessive , oración concesiva is understood in the grammar , a special form of a adverbial coset . While the subordinate clause contains a counter-reason perceived as inadequate, an admission, the action in the superordinate clause, the main clause ( apodosis ), takes place anyway.


From a semantic point of view, in the concession clause a condition is granted , the expected effect of which is not fulfilled, or a circumstance, fact, act, the expected consequence of which does not occur in the main clause or, formulated differently, the concede clause indicates an inadequate counter-reason. This counter-reason, restriction or admission is verbalized in the subordinate clause, oración subordinada, in the form of a condition, the main clause, oración principal, represents its consequence, which does not occur or occurs differently than intended or expected by the speaker. Thus, the initially “expected” causal relationship remains ineffective for the addressee . The question in the concessional sentence is “Despite what circumstance?” Or in Spanish “¿A pesar de qué?”

A compound sentence with a subordinate connection leads to a sentence structure . In general, there are three types of subordinate propositions or subordinate clauses:

  • the subordination with noun function, subordinadas sustantivas ;
  • the subordination with adjective function, subordinadas adjetivas ;
  • the subordination with adverbial function, subordinadas adverbiales .

The grant or concession phrase , oración concesiva, belongs to the latter classification class .

The concessive clause is usually introduced by a concessional conjunction. A concessional reference can also be expressed by other syntactic arrangements than with the conjunctive, introduced subordinate clauses.

With a concessionary subordinate clause (protasis) one expresses a contrast or an insufficient counter-reason to the statement of the main clause (apodosis). Such a subordinate clause is introduced in the German language, for example, by the words “like though”, “although”, “if”, “even”, “if” or “obschon” or “obzwar”. According to the subclassification, the following different groups arise for the German concessional conjunctions:

  • Due to their word structure, the conjunctions can be divided into:
    • Compound: although, although, although, although, although, anyway
    • multi-part: even if, if, how / so much too
    • couple: also ... if, so ... also be.
  • Based on the syntactic merit, i.e. their syntactic usability, they can be determined in:
  • coordinating: yes, yes, anyway,
  • subordinate: although, although, to be anyway.

The question after him is: "Despite what circumstance?" Or "Despite what circumstance."

 Er ging schwimmen, obwohl (wenngleich) das Wasser eisig war.
 Obwohl der Kamin brennt, ist es kalt.

The German example sentences listed above make it clear that the consequences arising in the main clauses (apodoses) do not occur or occur differently than expected than the conditions formulated in the subordinate clauses (protases) (“went swimming”, “it's cold”) would lead one to expect.

The conjunctions mentioned are not to be confused with the conjunction “anyway”, because while those introduce a subordinate clause, this one introduces a main clause. These sentences often appear in “Pros” and “Contra” comparisons. The following Spanish conjunctions , conjunctiones concesivas , introduce an inadequate counter-reason, which stands in contrast to the "Pro" and "Contra" statements of the main clause (Apodosis), for example:

spanish words German translations
a pesar de although
aun a riesgo de que even at the risk
aun cuando even if
aunque even if, although, although
bien que even if, nevertheless
bien que mal more bad than right
con todo anyway, anyway
ni aunque even if
pese a que despite, though
pese a todo in spite of all
por más que however much, however; even if
por mucho que however much, how much
si bien if the same
en perjuicio de que without prejudice to this
por + adjetivo + que sea so + adjective + it seems; so + adjective + it be

If the speaker promises the idea of the opposite reason in the assumption of a certainty , the concessive clause is in the indicative , indicativo otherwise in the subjunctive, subjuntivo . Like the conditional clause, the concession clause belongs to the "group of hypothetical sentence structures", which also includes the comparative clause and the consecutive clause .

From a syntactic point of view, there is an adverbial clause with a typical subordinate clause construction. Depending on the degree of unreality of the idea expressed in the protasis, the tenses or modes used, the grammatical tenses and verb categories, differ between the main and subordinate clauses. The modes of the concessive clauses, similar to the conditional clauses, oración condicional , are based on the depicted relation to reality vs. Distinguished unreality.

Clause 1 Clause 2
Protasis Apodosis
subordinate clause main clause
Oración subordinada Oración principal
Antecedents, antecedents Consistent, consiguiente
"Antecedent" "Subsequent or subsequent sentence"
Granting, restriction, counter-reason consequences
Independently Dependent
coordination Subordination

If the presented counter-reason is uncertain or unreal, the concession or concession clause is in the subjuntivo , otherwise the indicative mode , indicativo, is used.

The indicativo in the grant sentence

The indicativo is used in the main clause (apodosis) by the speaker when what he has admitted in the subordinate clause (protasis) presents itself as a fact or wants to induce itself to be presented to the recipient . If it is not a known fact or fact, the subjuntivo is used.

 Hoy voy al teatro aunque Joaquín no viene. Heute bin ich im Begriff zu gehen ins Theater, obwohl Joaquín nicht kommt. Futuro próximo + Presente

Since, from a syntactic point of view, subordinate clauses are woven into the concessive clauses, in which a cause is named, but which does not lead to the expected result, it is crucial for the speaker to know whether he wants to make a fact known from a semantic point of view or not.

The subjunctive in the concession sentence

The unreal admission clause, oración concesiva irreal, has certain syntactic similarities to the unreal conditional clause , oración condicional irreal . It is introduced with aun cuando , even if, even if or and cuando if . It describes a fact, state of affairs or an event that is possible or probable, but which has only been constructed in the speaker's imagination. The unreal admission sentence states that an expected causal relationship would not be fulfilled.

The subjuntivo is used when the restriction, the counter-reason, which the speaker promises in the subordinate clause (protasis) is not regarded as decisive for him.

 Me resulta antipático, aunque te extrañe. Mir ist er unsympathisch, auch  wenn dich das erstaunen möge. Presente + Subjuntivo presente
 Le dijo la verdad, aun a riesgo de que se enfadara. Ihnen sage ich die Wahrheit, selbst auf die Gefahr hin, dass es sie ärgerte. Presente + Subjuntivo imperfecto

Particles and other constructions introducing the allowance phrase

If you connect two sub-clauses in Spanish with conjunctions, the sentence order and the sequence of tenses, Consecutio temporum of the verbs used, remain unchanged in the two connecting clauses , as if two independent clauses were being combined. In German, in subordinate clauses that are introduced by conjunctions, question or relative pronouns, the finite verb is at the end of the sentence. From a general point of view, some conjunctions call for the use and application of different modes, such as the indicativo and again others that of the subjunktivo . But the use of infinite verbs is also possible.

Infinite constructions to introduce the conditional clause

The introduction of a concession clause also includes the construction

 con + infinitivo; Con tanto comer has tenido hambre. Trotz des vielen Essens hast du noch Hunger.
 Con ser tan inteligente no encontrarás la resolverás una adivinanza. Obwohl du sehr intelligent bist, wirst du das Rätsel nicht lösen.

to disposal.

 a pesar de + Infinitiv;
 No adelantábamos a pesar de caminar día y noche. Wir kamen nicht vorwärts, obwohl wir Tag und Nacht wanderten.

Substitute forms can be chosen for the phrase “a pesar de + infinitive”, for example

 aun a riesgo de, aun a sabiendas de, a fuer de, sin embargo de

Gerundial constructions

 aun + gerundio;

Verb repetition in the concessional sense

By repeating a verb in conjunction with a relative pronoun or adverb, a concessionary statement can be made; these sentence structures use the subjunctive. - Examples:

 venga quien venga; wortwörtlich übersetzt komme wer komme und in die deutsche Satzstruktur übertragen wer auch immer kommen mag,
 Venga quien venga va a ser feliz. Wer auch immer kommen mag, wird glücklich werden.
 sea como sea; sei es, wie es sei
 Sea como sea, estás equivocado. Sei es, wie es sei, du liegst falsch.

Further examples are:

 vayas a donde vayas; pasara lo que pasara; sean cuando sean


Web links


  1. vayas a donde vayas , wherever you go ; pasara lo que pasara , whatever should happen ; sean cuando sean , whenever

Individual evidence

  1. Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 , pp. 380-381.
  2. Satzwertige infinitive, and participial Gerundial-. Sentence equivalents and abbreviations of subordinate clauses. Justo Fernández López.
  3. The concession clause. Oraciones concesivas. Justo Fernández López.
  4. Elena Santillán: Spanish Morphosyntax. A study book for teaching, learning and practicing. Narr, Tübingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-8233-6980-6 , p. 94.
  5. ^ Helmut Berschin, Julio Fernández-Sevilla, Josef Felixberger: The Spanish language. Distribution, history, structure. 3. Edition. Georg Olms, Hildesheim / Zurich / New York 2005, ISBN 3-487-12814-4 , pp. 281–282.
  6. Concessionary sentences. grammis 2.0, the grammatical information system of the institute for german language (ids)
  7. ^ Karl-Ernst Sommerfeldt, Günter Starke, Werner Hackel: Introduction to the grammar of contemporary German. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-11-091886-2 , p. 39 f.
  8. ^ Translation problems subjunctive. eUEPRO 2 eLearning University of Saarland
  9. Claudia Moriena, Karen Genschow: Great learning grammar Spanish: rules, examples of use, tests; [Level A1 - C1]. Hueber Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-19-104145-8 , pp. 594-596
  10. José Vera-Morales: Spanish grammar. 5th edition. Oldenbourg, 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-58645-9 , p. 639 f
  11. Csilla Fugli: Konzessivsätze. Bachelor thesis, Masaryk University, Masarykova univerzita Brno 2010
  12. Trinidad Bonachera Álvarez, Pedro Álvarez Olañeta, Antonio Ángel Delgado Hernández: The self-study Spanish course for advanced learners: workbook. Vol. 2, Max Hueber Verlag, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-19-019482-3 , p. 144
  13. Claudia Moriena, Karen Genschow: Great learning grammar Spanish: rules, examples of use, tests; [Level A1 - C1]. Hueber Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-19-104145-8 , p. 595