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I'm watching the movie "Who am I - no system is safe".

The sentence

Es ist kein Faden, der vorne einen Anfang und hinten ein Ende hat.

translates into English as

There is nothing with a beginning at front and an end at the back.

But in the context of the plot, the subs reads:

Every thing has a beginning and an end.

1) Which one is correct?

2) Can you please explain the sentence structure. What is the role of der, kein, ...?

  • Außer es ist eine Wurst, dann hat es natürlich nur zwei Enden. – Jan Aug 19 '16 at 9:34
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The sentence means

This is not a thread with a beginning in the front and an end at the back.

(Hopefully I got it right, my English is not so awesome!)

Breaking down:

Es ist kein Faden.

This is not a thread.

And the subsentence:

Er hat vorne einen Anfang und hinten ein Ende.

It has a beginning at the front and an end at the back.

And now linked with der (which) with its literal German translation.

Es ist kein Faden, der vorne einen Anfang und hinten ein Ende hat.

This is not a thread, which has a beginning at the front and an end at the back.

3

┏━━━━━━━MAIN CLAUSE━━━━━━━┓  ┏━━━━━━━━━━━━━━RELATIVE CLAUSE (subordinate clause)━━━━━━━━━━━┓
  Es ist {kein Faden}ᴺᴼᴹ  ,  der vorne {einen Anfang}ᴬᴷᴷ und hinten {ein Ende}ᴬᴷᴷ hat.

Literally: "It is no thread that has in the front a beginning and in the rear an ending."

This is a compound sentence with a relative clause separated with a comma (!) and introduced with der used as a relative pronoun.

In the main clause, kein is the negating indefinite pronoun used attributively of a noun (kein Faden = no thread) that governs the inflection of the indefinite pronoun: singular masculine. The noun phrase kein Faden is in the nominative case because it is the object of the verb ist (sein).

The relative clause describes the object noun Faden, therefore the relative pronoun der, referring back to 'Faden', is inflected in agreement with it: masculine singular, nominative.

The noun phrases einen Anfang and ein Ende are in the accusative case because they are objects of the verb hat (haben).

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