I want to combine 2 sentences with a relative pronoun.


Ich habe einen Hund. Mein Hund hat den Briefträger gebissen.


Ich habe einen Hund, der den Briefträger gebissen hat.

So "den" is the relative pronoun, but what is the "der" ("der den Briefträger") exactly? What function does it have? Is it the definite article for "Briefträger" and if so, the relative pronoun must be placed between the article and the noun?

  • 3
    What makes you believe that "den" is the relative pronoun. "den" is already in your original sentence "Mein Hund hat den Briefträger gebissen". The only thing which changed is that you replaced "Mein Hund" with "der", so obviously "der" must be the relative pronoun.
    – Em1
    Jul 24, 2014 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


"der" is the relative pronoun, which could also be replaced by "welcher".
"den" is the same as in "Mein Hund hat den Briefträger gebissen." (accusative).


The relative pronoun is "der". It refers back to "der Hund".
"Den" is the article for "Briefträger" in Accusative, just like in your single sentences. Here's a verbatim translation and a normal one

Ich habe einen Hund, der den Briefträger gebissen hat.
I have a dog, who the mailman bitten has.
I have a dog that has bitten the mailman.

It is hard to see in English but "who" is the subject, the mailman is the direct object.

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