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I have come across this sentence in a German language textbook:

Welchen meinst du denn? Den mit der Sonnenbrille oder den daneben?

I assume that the accusative is used because of the "welchen" in the first question, but I would have thought that the man with the sunglasses and the man next to him were the subjects in the second question.

What is the rule that means the case from the first question is transferred to the second question?

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The second sentence is not a complete clause. If written completely (so that it can stand for its own) it would be:

Meinst Du den mit der Sonnenbrille oder den daneben?

Like that it should be clear that the subject in the second sentence is still "Du", and the "den" refers to the accusative object of the clause.

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