I was reading an article containing the following passage:

Ozan ist eines der größten Abwehr-Talente in Europa in seinem Alter

This to me reads

Ozan is one of the biggest Defensive-Talents in Europe for his age.

My confusion lies in the use of eines.

I tried to work out whether "eines" in this passage is a numeral, article or pronoun.

I don't think it is a numeral as it doesn't denote a number specifically.

I don't think it is an article because it doesn't function as "the" in some sense.

I thought it was a pronoun but couldn't work out what case it was referring to.

Wiktionary tells me it functions as a genitive masculine pronoun but I can't work out how eines is used in this sentence.

I read this question but couldn't work out if eines was substituting a noun.

What is eines functioning as in this sentence?


1 Answer 1


The verb sein needs two nominatives: a subject and a predicative.

Therefore, eines must be a nominative neuter singular pronoun. Compare:

Das ist ein wichtiges Thema. (article, ending on the adjective)

Es gibt nicht viele wichtige Themen, aber der Klimawandel ist eines/eins. (pronoun, with ending)

In the above example, ein(e)s is interpreted as ein wichtiges Thema because of viele wichtige Themen in the preceding sentence.

In your example, the gender of the pronoun is determined by the genitive noun phrase that follows, i.e. der größten Abwehrtalente. Since Talent is neuter, we get ein(e)s.

Two further examples exhibiting a masculine and a feminine pronoun. The examples have been chosen to unequivocally show that the gender of the pronoun is determined by the gender of the noun in the genitive phrase that follows.

Er ist eine der größten Koryphäen (fem.) auf diesem Gebiet.
Sie ist einer der glücklichsten Menschen (masc.), die ich kenne.

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