I’m having difficulties transforming such relative clauses into a one-level sentence. Is my way below right?

Ein Sonett, das aus vierzehn Zeilen besteht, ist eine lyrische Gedichtform. → Ein Sonett ist eine aus vierzehn Zeilen bestehende lyrische Gedichtform.

  • It’s OK in general (note that I made some minor corrections in an edit), but you effectively moved the part: In the first sentence, it’s the sonnet that has 14 lines; in the second, it’s the poetic form that has 14 lines. So they are not actually equivalent. Be also warned that, even when the transformation is correctly done, there may be a big stylistic difference between the version with the relative clause and the one with a participle.
    – chirlu
    Nov 8, 2015 at 21:19
  • Yes it's OK and generally my last edit is valid. Because i always forget what i have said,eaten,written. Actually i don't remember older shape of my question so sorry :-( Nov 8, 2015 at 21:23
  • Huh? No need to remember anything, just look into the revision history.
    – chirlu
    Nov 8, 2015 at 21:59
  • i'll find revision history, i didn't know i had that option thanks Nov 8, 2015 at 22:13
  • i couldn't find revision history do mean my browser settings or is there such section here? Nov 8, 2015 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


General strategy: Identify the noun that the relative clause refers to (in most cases the one directly in front), transform the verb of the relative clause into a participle, and put the resulting participle clause in front of the noun. It works in a similar way in English.

Ein Sonett, das aus vierzehn Zeilen besteht, ist eine lyrische Gedichtform -> Ein aus vierzehn Zeilen bestehendes Sonett ist eine lyrische Gedichtform.

Ein Sonett ist eine Gedichtform, die aus vierzehn Zeilen besteht -> Ein Sonett ist eine aus vierzehn Zeilen bestehende Gedichtform.

(Of course the second variant makes more sense.)

In English:

A sonnet, that/which consists of fourteen lines, is a poetic form -> A sonnet consisting of fourteen lines is a poetical form.

A sonnet is a poetic form that consists of fourteen lines -> A sonnet is a poetic form consisting of fourteen lines.

  • as a relative clause "das üblicherwise in gereimten jambischen Fünfheber geschrieben ist" do i need to use in or mit and ein Lyrik schreiben or ein Lyrik verfassen ? Nov 9, 2015 at 7:58
  • That's two new questions. :-) The expressions are "etwas in einer Reimform schreiben" (but "etwas mit einem Schreibinstrument schreiben"), so it's "in". You can't use "Lyrik" as a translation of "(song) lyrics", so you probably mean "einen Gedichttext/einen Liedtext schreiben/verfassen" (all combinations are correct, "verfassen" is more elevated style).
    – dirkt
    Nov 9, 2015 at 8:03

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