Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2011

German -- relative pronouns

German ; relative pronouns

1. A relative pronoun is one which begins a relative clause, that is, a dependent clause beginning with " who, whom, whose, which or that ."

eg. This is the book THAT she gave me.
I saw the man WHO came today.
That is the lady WHOSE hang bag was stolen.
Here is the magazine WHICH you were asking about.

2. In English, the relative pronoun can very often be omitted. One could just say :

This is the book she gave me.
Here is the magazine you were asking about.

3. But, in German the relative pronouns MUST NEVER be omitted, and the relative clause MUST always be separated by COMMAS,.

4.the word used as relative pronouns in German are " der" and " welcher". And they follow their accustomed declension ( ie., like dieser ) with 2 important EXCEPTIONS:

i) in the genitive singular, both " der" and " welcher " becomes " dessen" for masculine and neuter nouns; for feminine nouns, it becomes " deren".

ii) in the genitive and dative Plural, they have genitive " deren"; and dative " denen" and " welchen". ( no deviation from the norm for " welcher" in this last case.)


1. Das Buch, das ich lese, ist sehr lang.
2. Der freund, den ich besuchte, war krank.
3. Die Blumen, die ich kaufte, waren schon.
4. Die Frau, deren Sohn ich kenne, hat mich besucht.
5. Hier ist der Mann, dessen Haus ich kaufte.
6. Die Leute, denen ich Geld gab, sind sehr arm.

summary :

Genitive : dessen (masculine singular)
Genitive : deren (faminine singular)

Gentivie plural : deren
Dative plural : denen

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