This is the latest time I can work on the project

For a sentence like this, would one just use a relativsatz?

Das ist die spätestens Nacht, dass ich dieses Projekt bearbeiten kann.

Or is there a more standard way to construct this?

  • Can you provide a bit more context, please? Is it I can work only until tonight, maybe? I don't really get what the original wants to say.. – tofro Apr 2 '16 at 6:49
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    "Das ist die späteste Nacht, in der ich dieses Projekt bearbeiten kann." kann man sagen, besser "Spätestens diese Nacht muss ich dieses Projekt bearbeiten". – user unknown Apr 3 '16 at 12:59

This is the latest time I can work on the project.

translates to

Das ist der letzte Zeitpunkt, an dem ich an dem Projekt arbeiten kann.

no "Nacht"
There is no "night" in your english sentence, so why should a "Nacht" appear in the translation?

two meanings of time
The englisch word »time« has two meanings:

  • something that passes by and can be measured with a clock or a calendar, like 5 minutes or 3 weeks. This is »Zeit« in German.
  • a certain exact point in the temporal flow that you can name like "8 o'clock in the morning", "lunch time" or "high noon". This is how "time" is used in your example. This is "Zeitpunkt" in German. (Think of it as "point in time")

superlative does not influence the meaning of the second part of the sentence
The phrase "I can work on the project" is used as a description of that time that is the latest. It has nothing to do that "latest" is a superlative. You could also point your finger on a timetable (lets say you point on 19:45, today) and say:

This is the time I can work on the project.

Where "This" is meaning: "today, at a quarter to 8 p.m."

This would be in German:

Das ist der Zeitpunkt, an dem ich an dem Projekt arbeiten kann.

This means:

"I can work on the project" is a phrase that only describes time and is not interfering with latest in any way.

So you have to finde something, that describes "Zeitpunkt" the same way this phrase does, without having to think about if there is any adjective that describes "time/Zeitpunkt" too, and if this adjective is a positive, a comparative or a superlative.

How to translate this phrase?

As a stand-alone sentence this phrase would be in english:

I can work on the project.

(it is identical to how it is used as a description.) And this hole sentence can easily be translated into German:

Ich kann an diesem Projekt arbeiten.

The verb is "kann" ("can"), which has to stand on position 2 in a hole German sentence. But if you use this phrase to describe something else, the verb has to move to the last position:

... ich an diesem Projekt arbeiten kann.

And now you just need a preposition to glue this phrase to the noun that you want to describe. This preposition is "an dem" ("at which").

so finally you get:

Das ist der letzte Zeitpunkt, an dem ich an dem Projekt arbeiten kann.

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  • The large (commendable) effort that you have put into your overly long answer makes it very clear you are struggling with finding out what the OP has actually asked (I do as well, because without context the original English doesn't make much sense in the first place - It is as best mes-leading, and could even be just wrong...). Maybe it would have made more sense to wait for the OP to clarify his question instead of trying to cover all the question could possibly have meant. – tofro Apr 2 '16 at 11:24
  • @tofro: No, for me it was clear what the OP was asking. I was no struggling with anything. And if you read ma other answers to other questions, you will find, that almost all of my answers are long. Here I just corrected also those errors that the OP did not explicitly ask for. – Hubert Schölnast Apr 2 '16 at 17:19

If the "latest time" refers to a specific time:

Ich kann das Projekt spätestens um diese Zeit bearbeiten

("…spätestens um 10 Uhr", "…spätestens heute nachmittag…" etc.)

If the "latest time" is already evident from the context and/or not so specific, I'd rather say:

Ich kann das Projekt spätestens zu diesem Zeitpunkt bearbeiten

("…Heute nachmittag bin ich wieder da. Ich kann das Projekt spätestens zu diesem Zeitpunkt bearbeiten.")

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