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The below sentence appears in the article “Treffen von Trump und Merkel. Muss halt.” from Der Spiegel:

Trump lobt Deutschland länglich als wichtigen Partner im Kampf gegen den Terror und erinnert daran, dass bereits 50 Bundeswehrsoldaten in Afghanistan ums Leben gekommen seien.

As I understand it, the nominative case should be used after als. In the above sentence, however, the adjective wichtig that comes after als seems to be having an ending characteristic of the accusative case (en). Should not the ending of wichtig be in the nominative case (er)?

One more thing: What's the proper English translation of Muss halt (the phrase is part of the article heading)? My version of the translation, Must stop, is not particularly meaningful to me.

  • 2
    Your question about Muss halt doesn’t seem to have to do anything with the primary question. It would be best if you remove it and ask a separate question about it. – unor Mar 18 '17 at 18:22
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The word als here is initiating an apposition. You could rephrase the sentence as:

Trump lobt Deutschland, einen wichtigen Partner gegen den Terror, länglich und erinnert daran, dass …

An apposition initiated by als generally agrees with the word it describes to in case and number — like any apposition. Examples:

Wir – Ihre vertrauensvollen Ansprechpartner – möchten Ihnen als unserem wertvollen Kunden ein unschlagbares Angebot machen.

  • The same - the apposition case is ruled by the substantive's case that is described - is true for the other cases as well - dative: Ich gebe dem Finanzamt als dem Repräsentanten des Staates mein schwerverdientes Geld – tofro Mar 20 '17 at 0:16
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Normally you have the "Gleichsetzungsnominativ" after "als", but that is only if the word it is eqalled to is a part of the clause that is indeed in nominative. Here it is in accusative and it should be in this same case. It could also be dative or genitive in another sentence, of course. I'd suggest you stress the "Gleichsetzung" and not the "nominativ" of this word. Here it is "Gleichsetzungsakkusativ" and to cover all cases we could even speak of "Gleichsetzungsfall"

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The adjective "wichtig" is in accusative, because it describes who/what ("wen/was") is praised ("lobt") by Trump (whole question to ask: "Was ist Deutschland in Trumps Lob(rede)?"/"Als wen/was bezeichnet Trump Deutschland?"). It would be semantically identical to:

Trump lobt Deutschland länglich, dass es ein wichtiger Partner ... sei, und erinnert daran, dass ...

And the translation of "Muss halt" would probably be like "to like it or lump it".

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