Gegen die Annahme, der die Parteien verbindende Vertrag habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt, spricht zudem der Umstand, dass der Vertrag die Kläger nicht verpflichtet, die geschuldete Leistung in Person zu erbringen.

deepl translation:

The fact that the contract does not oblige the plaintiffs to provide the service owed in person also speaks against the assumption that the contract binding the parties has a contractual content.

I don't know how to interpret the part

der die Parteien verbindende Vertrag habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt

The phrase die Parteien verbindende Vertrag is interpreted as the contract binding the parties, but what is the "der" preceding it? If the entire part is explaining the assumption, shouldn't it start with "dass"?

And I understand that the subject of the whole sentence is "der Umstand". Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • 1
    der beszieht sich auf den Vertrag. der relates to the Vertrag. Jun 30, 2018 at 12:26
  • Can we write Vertrag der die Parteien verbindet habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt, like the original sentence? I only studied beginner level grammar so maybe there is something I don't know yet..
    – Chan Kim
    Jun 30, 2018 at 12:39

3 Answers 3


der is the definite article of Vertrag.

The sentence could also be written as:

Gegen die Annahme, der Vertrag, der die Parteien verbindet, habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt, ...

A dass is possible here, but not mandatory.

With dass the sentence would be:

Gegen die Annahme, dass der die Parteien verbindende Vertrag einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt habe...

A dass in a relative clause can often be omitted. In this case, the word order is the same as in the main clause (verb second). The following sentences have the same meaning:

Er sagte, dass er den Täter gesehen habe.

Er sagte, er habe den Täter gesehen.

  • I first didn't notice the use of current participle verbindende(as an adjective). So it was against the assumptiin that the both-party-binding contract has . .. Thanks!
    – Chan Kim
    Jun 30, 2018 at 13:19


der die Parteien verbindende Vertrag

the part "die Parteien verbindende" is taking the place of an adjective. You can even use an enumeration of several adjectives like

der gute, die Parteien verbindende Vertrag

or even

der gute, durchdachte und die Parteien verbindende Vertrag

Not to say that this would improve readability.

  • Yes, now I know it. The thing is, in English we have similar grammar like 'a bread baking machine' but in German even when the adjective phrase starts with an object word with definite article, this adjective phrase can sit between the original article and the noun even in this case. For example 'The machine was in the room. The machine is for baking bread.' => The bread baking machine was in the room.(English). => The the bread baking machine was in the room.( not allowed in English) => Die der brot backend maschine ist in dem Zimmer. (We see Die der which looks very weird)
    – Chan Kim
    Jul 3, 2018 at 8:08
  • 1
    Correctly it would be "Die das Brot backende Maschine ist in dem Zimmer." But I get your point. In german "Die Brot backende Maschine ist in dem Zimmer." would also be possible, but with the "double article feature" you can still refer to a specific bread you might be talking about. You might talk about a specific cruise ship being pulled in the harbour by a tractor/hauler/tractor (don't know which is the best word for it) and you can say "Der das Schiff ziehende Schlepper". "bread baking machine" is also more like a noun and doesn't necessarily mean the machine is baking a bread at the moment
    – Javatasse
    Jul 3, 2018 at 17:06

Der Vertrag hat einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt

is a simple statement, which is put into indirect speech (Konjunktiv) because it is an assumption:

Die Annahme, der Vertrag habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt

(note the "der" relates to "Vertrag", also in the previous sentence)

Now we extend the phrase even more, introducing something that opposes this assumption:

Gegen die Annahme, der Vertrag habe einen arbeitsvertraglichen Inhalt, spricht der Umstand

And yes, "Umstand" is the subject of the sentence.

  • I was more curious about the connection between the der (now I realize it's just an definitive article not a relative pronoun) and die Parteien verbindende. But thanks it helped. And thanks for confirming that Umstand is the subject word.
    – Chan Kim
    Jun 30, 2018 at 13:23

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