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I read this sentence today.

Das ist die Frau, deren Bruder krank ist

"deren" is a relative pronoun, in genitive. Relative pronouns in genitive work like this:

  • masculine and neutrum: dessen
  • femenine and plural: deren

So if "Bruder" is masculine, why is not using "dessen"?

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Because deren refers to Frau and not to Bruder.

The sentence translated to english:

This is the woman whose brother is ill.

  • So you mean that in "Die Frau, deren Bruder ....", both "Die" and "dessen" refer to the gender of the "Frau" and none to the gender of "Bruder"?? – Enrique Moreno Tent Aug 12 '18 at 10:57
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    @EnriqueMorenoTent Yes. In the case of "deren" and "dessen" gender and singular/plural of the "owner" is important; not of the "owned" object. – Martin Rosenau Aug 12 '18 at 11:11
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    You can see that it has to be the gender of the woman if you make it two separate sentences and turn the relative pronoun into a personal pronoun: This is the woman. Her brother is ill. – RHa Aug 13 '18 at 10:00

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