3

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 '18 at 5:55
  • 1
    For reference: Der Sachverhalt , der Gegenstand ist ... ----- Die Frage, die Gegenstand ist ... ----- Das Problem, das Gegenstand ist.... – bukwyrm Apr 23 '18 at 10:53
  • @IQV The subject of the main sentence is "diese Eigenschaft". See my comment below Faenrig's answer. – booksee Apr 23 '18 at 16:19
  • 2
    @booksee: as it stands now this example sentence still does not make much sense to me. Please edit it for completion. – Takkat Apr 24 '18 at 6:48
  • 1
    In many cases this property ..., which is the subject of this chapter. – Rudy Velthuis Apr 24 '18 at 22:31
7

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 '18 at 6:12
  • Eine Messunsicherheit is the subject to auftreten, not an accusative object. – Janka Apr 23 '18 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 '18 at 16:17
3

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. – Björn Friedrich Apr 23 '18 at 8:28
  • 2
    @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 '18 at 16:22
2

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.