I just received an email with this sentence, and while I think I understand what it is trying to say, I have difficulties trying to discover what case applies in which part, and generally in breaking it down in smaller pieces.

Die Angabe aller Geschäftsführer einer GmbH mit Namen in der eMail-Signatur zählt zu den gesetzlichen Pflichtangaben für eMail-Signaturen.

Can someone explain me what the syntax analysis for this sentences is?

1 Answer 1


This is known as Nominalstil. The noun phrase* in front of the verb zählt can be compared to a sentence like the following, where 1 is an object (wen?), 2 is an adverbial of manner (wie?) and 3 is an adverbial of place (wo?).

Man muß [alle Geschäftsführer einer GmbH]1 [mit Namen]2 [in der eMail-Signatur]3 angeben.

Assuming by cases you meant noun cases: einer GmbH is genitive (because it is an attribute of a noun), Namen is dative (because of mit), der eMail-Signatur is dative (because the preposition is in and the question is where?).

* Wikipedia has an article on noun phrases. The idea is that nouns can be expanded:

die Untersuchung
die geforderte Untersuchung
die geforderte Untersuchung des Betriebs
die geforderte Untersuchung des Betriebs auf Salmonellen

In your example, the noun phrases in front of the verb is

die Angabe aller Geschäftsführer einer GmbH mit Namen in der eMail-Signatur

  • Well, I do not know what a "noun phrase" is, but I guess that would need its own question page. Thanks! Jan 23, 2019 at 12:45
  • @EnriqueMorenoTent A noun phrase is a phrase that functions grammatically as a noun. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_phrase
    – PiedPiper
    Jan 23, 2019 at 13:26
  • But doesn't a phrase need to have a verb? I see no verb inside that "noun phrase" Jan 23, 2019 at 14:45
  • 1
    Are you perhaps mixing up clauses and phrases? Anyhow, it is useful to have a term like phrase to express the fact that most parts of speech can occur as parts of larger units: happy in happy about the result, recklessly in quite recklessly, difficulties in difficulties with math, etc.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 23, 2019 at 16:13
  • I did not know the difference between clauses and phrases! That is very interesting and useful info. Thank you! Jan 23, 2019 at 16:59

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