Can the pronoun "solch*" (not as an adjective) be used to introduce a subordinate clause describing certain characteristics?

For example:

  • Diese Menschen sind solche, die ich nicht gern treffe.
  • Ich betrachte dieses Problem als solches, das niemand lösen kann.

Are these sentences grammatically correct? If they are, are they stylistically nice or are there better alternatives?

  • Good question. But, is solche really a subjejct in the first example?
    – c.p.
    Oct 22, 2016 at 16:06
  • @c.p. It's the subject of the main clause, which is more important for the sake of the diversity of the demonstration. I think it doesn't really matter what the syntactical role in the subordinate clause would be. But you are right, it's confusing, so I'll remove this altogether.
    – amirdeq
    Oct 22, 2016 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


Solche is a demonstrative pronoun. You could it replace it with der, die, das, einer, eine, eines in their demonstrative pronoun use.

Both sentences are grammatically correct. Both are not best style because it's another demonstrative pronoun which should be used.

Diese Menschen sind welche, die ich nicht gern treffe.

Ich betrachte dieses Problem als eines, das niemand lösen kann.


Störer! Diese Menschen sind solche, die anderen aber auch.

Es gibt unlösbare Aufgaben. Ich betrachte dieses Problem als solche.

So, while welche is a forward-reference and demands an explanation, solche is a backwards-reference to something which has already been explained in a sentence before. Der, die, das, einer, eine, eines are neutral in that quality.

  • Can "welches" be used in the case of the second sentence as will?
    – amirdeq
    Oct 22, 2016 at 19:01
  • You mean Ich betrachte dieses Problem als eins, welches niemand lösen kann. Yes, but welches is used as a relative pronoun here. As with der, die, das, the same word can have different functions in a sentence. (Note the dropped e in eines. If you put in the e, it sounds stilted because of the following welches, which has another e. That's considered as bad rhyming and avoided by German speakers. May be done by purpose, though.)
    – Janka
    Oct 22, 2016 at 19:04
  • I actually meant analogically Ich betrachte dieses Problem als welches, das niemand lösen kann.
    – amirdeq
    Oct 22, 2016 at 19:09
  • 2
    No, that sounds very odd. But the plural Ich betrachte diese Probleme als welche, die niemand lösen kann. is widespread. That's because welche is considered the plural of eines in its demonstrative use by many many German speakers.
    – Janka
    Oct 22, 2016 at 19:12

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