I am a beginner in German and this is my first post. I encounter the following sentence in a German article:

In vielen Fällen folgt diese Eigenschaft aus Satz 1, die Gegenstand dieses Kapitels ist.

I can not understand the use of "die" in front of "Gegenstand"(subject, topic, theme, etc.). According to the online dictionary, "Gegenstand" is masculine, and the only two cases of a leading "die" are: nominative plural and accusative plural, where the word should be "Gegenstände".

Is "die Gegenstand" grammatically correct ?

  • 6
    For a good explanation we need this part of the sentence you omitted, as "die" refers to this part.
    – IQV
    Apr 23, 2018 at 5:55
  • 1
    For reference: Der Sachverhalt , der Gegenstand ist ... ----- Die Frage, die Gegenstand ist ... ----- Das Problem, das Gegenstand ist....
    – bukwyrm
    Apr 23, 2018 at 10:53
  • @IQV The subject of the main sentence is "diese Eigenschaft". See my comment below Faenrig's answer.
    – booksee
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:19
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    @booksee: as it stands now this example sentence still does not make much sense to me. Please edit it for completion.
    – Takkat
    Apr 24, 2018 at 6:48
  • 1
    In many cases this property ..., which is the subject of this chapter. Apr 24, 2018 at 22:31

3 Answers 3


This sentence is grammatically correct as long as there is a feminine object in the main sentence. The die so relates to this feminine word then.

In vielen Fällen ... , die Gegenstand dieses Kapitels ist.

As an example

In vielen Fällen tritt eine Messunsicherheit auf, die Gegenstand dieses Kapitels ist.

In english you would rather say:

[...], which is the topic of this chapter.

So it is not an article but rather a relative pronoun that is related to a previous subject and changes on its genus.

  • You are absolutely right. Edited.
    – Faenrig
    Apr 23, 2018 at 6:12
  • Eine Messunsicherheit is the subject to auftreten, not an accusative object.
    – Janka
    Apr 23, 2018 at 6:56
  • @Faenrig You're right. There is a feminine subject "diese Eigenschaft" in the main sentence, so "die...ist" corresponds to "Eigenschaft".
    – booksee
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:17

Die isn't the article of "Gegenstand" here. It is a relative pronoun referring back to "Fälle(n)". In the subordinate clause after the comma "die" thus acts as the subject. You could translate it with "that"

  • 2
    It doesn't refer to Fälle, but to another feminie noun hidden behind the ellipsis. Apr 23, 2018 at 8:28
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    @BjörnFriedrich I agree with you. I think "die...ist" should refer to a singular noun while "vielen Fälle(n)" is obviously plural.
    – booksee
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:22

Der, die and das have different functions in the German language. While they can be articles to a noun, they can also be demonstrative pronouns or relative pronouns. In your sentence, it is the latter. The sentence would translate as:

In many cases ..., which is the subject of this chapter.

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