In the following sentence, why does "Verbindungen" not have any article?

Moskau übt keine direkte Kontrolle auf die hiesige Kirche aus, unterhält aber enge Verbindungen zu dieser.


Because ordinarily you would expect an indefinite article, but since the indefinite article in German has no plural form, it is simply omitted in plural constructions. (This is a general rule.)

Ich unterhalte eine Verbindung. / Ich unterhalte Verbindungen.

Er hat eine gute Idee. / Er hat gute Ideen.

Further reading:

  • Why would you expect an indefinite article in singular?
    – user34255
    Sep 4 '18 at 9:06
  • @user34255: Because the usage without any article is typically reserved to non-countable things, or to referring to a concept as a whole. Jan 26 '20 at 12:10

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