From Spiegel Magazine:

"Das erwachsene partnerlose Einzelkind zweier Einzelkinder hat weder Lebensgefährten noch Geschwister, Tanten, Onkel, Cousins und Cousinen", so formuliert es der Soziologe ...

What does "Das erwachsene partnerlose Einzelkind zweier Einzelkinder" mean? Does it mean "one of every two", like "Jedes zweite Einzelkind"? If so, why is the definite article "das" required?

2 Answers 2


No, it means that if you are an only child without a partner/spouse, and both your parents are also only children (i.e. have no siblings), then you don't have any other relatives like siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles, i.e. you are "alone".


The adult, partnerless only child of two only children...

The definite article here is a way of generalizing, just as you do in English.
The author could just as well say:

Erwachsene partnerlose Einzelkinder zweier Einzelkinder...

But this gets a bit tricky in this case because it is easy to get confused between the two (or rather 3) "Einzelkinder".


It means

The adult, single single-child of two single children

The adult does not have a partner and is a single child. Both parents are also single children without siblings.

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