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In my German homework, I’m trying to say

I like to stay in a hotel where there is a spa in order to relax.

Would I say um sich zu entspannen or um mich zu entspannen? Or am I completely wrong and is none of this grammatically right?

The full sentence is

Ich übernachte gern in einem Hotel, wo es ein Spa gibt, um sich/mich zu entspannen.

  • I added the missing commas in your example. Also, I would use in dem in place of wo — the latter sounds rather colloquial while I would use the former in written contexts. I should note that I’m from the South where wo is commonly used in speech; in the North it immediately marks me as a southerner because everybody would use in dem. – Jan Mar 21 '17 at 21:12
  • Would the structure of the sentence be the same? Would it just be 'Ich übernachte gern in einem Hotel, dem es ein Spa gibt.' Or is there a different construction? – Sophia Mar 21 '17 at 21:20
  • Same construction: ‘Ich übernachte gerne in einem Hotel, in dem es ein Spa gibt.’ – Jan Mar 21 '17 at 21:39
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    Neither of them sounds good. How about: "Ich übernachte gern in einem Hotel, wo es ein Spa zum Entspannen gibt." — Alternatively, "...wo man sich entspannen kann" or "...wo ich mich entspannen kann". – Em1 Mar 22 '17 at 11:09
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You can say both and they give the sentence a slightly different nuance.

If you use mich then it is important to you that it is a spa where you yourself can relax. Some spas may not meet the definition because you cannot relax there.

I like to stay in a hotel where there is a spa that I can relax in.

If you use sich then the spa need only be relaxing to some people; akin to using one in an English translation:

I like to stay in a hotel where there is a spa that one can relax in.

| improve this answer | |
  • Well, you may hear something like that, but it is awkward. Usually, using "sich" in a dependent sentence like in your example would require a suitable subject (Ich, jemand, Leute) to be mentioned in the main phrase. In your phrase, your subject is "Ich", and using then "sich" in the dependent sentence may technically be possible, but it leaves a queer impression. I would not do this (except in very informal oral language). – Christian Geiselmann Mar 22 '17 at 15:21
  • @ChristianGeiselmann Does it now? In my opinion this is not the case. – Jan Jun 7 '17 at 20:20

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