3

I am working with native speakers who are correcting my German writing. I wrote:

Der Mann war an diesem Punkt sicher, daß er einen bekannten Anthropologe werden konnte.

And they corrected it to:

Der Mann war an diesem Punkt sicher, daß er ein bekannter Anthropologe werden konnte.

It seems to me that Anthropologe is the object of the clause and therefore the article and adjective should be declined accusatively. But if they are correct I infer that there is a special rule about professions, unqualified they get no article, and qualified with adjectives they get an article and the qualifiers are declined nominatively. Or is this just a reference to the subject and that's why its in the nominative?

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  • "It seems to me that Anthropologe is the object of the clause" - ist es aber nicht. Werden wird mit Nominativ verwendet. – Dan Jul 24 '19 at 23:13
  • Beside the correction of the article, I strongly encourage you to learn the current orthography. It is "dass", not "daß". When children write "daß" at school, it is treated as a mistake since more than 15 years now. – rexkogitans Jul 25 '19 at 15:43
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This isn't about professions but special magic of the verb werden. It's a so-called copula, a coupler-verb. You know these already:

Sie ist unsere Lehrerin. (sein)

Es wird Nacht. (werden)

Wir bleiben Freunde. (bleiben)

The coupler connects the subject and a predicative, an item describing the subject. If the predicative has a noun, it's in nominative case, too.

There are some more verbs which are sometimes used as couplers (e.g. heißen, sich erweisen, gelten als) but those three are always couplers if they aren't auxiliaries.