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Ich verstehe mich wirklich gut mit meiner Mutter Sylvia, der sehr intelligent ist, weil sie nett ist."

Is the usage of der in the relative clause correct here, since mit takes the dative case?

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2 Answers 2

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No, it's not correct. The case of the relative pronoun (here: die) is not determined by the case of the referred noun group (here: mit meiner Mutter Sylvia -> dative) in the main sentence, but by it's use in the sub clause (here: subject - meine Mutter ist intelligent -> nominative).

So, the correct form is:

Ich verstehe mich wirklich gut mit meiner Mutter Sylvia, die sehr intelligent ist, weil sie nett ist.

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  • Thanks. In what situation would one use the dative pronoun in a relative clause?
    – user6314
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 13:23
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    For example: "Meine Mutter, mit der ich mich wirklich gut verstehe, ..." or "Meine Mutter, der ich ein Geschenk gegeben habe, ..."
    – persson
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 13:37
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Indeed dative for feminine determined article is der. But the relative clause is in nominative, because you have the verb sein there.

..., die sehr intelligent ist, weil sie nett ist.

Maybe you thought you should use dative, because you use it inside an apposition, which indeed inherits the case of the object it is describing:

Ich verstehe mich wirklich gut mit Sylvia, meiner intelligenten Mutter, weil sie nett ist.

Notice there is no verb. But I don't really know if in German one speaks like that about one's mother. That is I guess I just find strange meine Mutter Sylvia, since you don't have two mothers. And if you want to mention her name, maybe it's a better idea to split the sentence in

Ich verstehe mich wirklich gut mit meiner intelligenten Mutter, weil sie nett ist. Sie heißt Sylvia.

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  • I didn't know that you speak Dutch, but clausule is supposed to be clause, isn't it? Furthermore, you did the same typo twice (copy & paste, I guess). It's sie not si ;)
    – Em1
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 13:20
  • @Em1 Well, I'm an eternal beginner in Dutch, indeed (difficult to find sb. to practice with), but that was just a mistake; I didn't corrected, 'cause I saw Toscho's answer, so I was planing to erase mine. :) But may be I can save it.
    – c.p.
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 13:31
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    Being nice is a strange reason for intelligence. I didn'know this.
    – rogermue
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 17:25
  • I intended the "because she is very nice" bit as justification for me getting along with her, but I guess it didn't really make sense
    – user6314
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 17:41

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