The sentence is:

Den einen nerven die Mitreisenden in der Bahn, den nächsten, dass er beim Autofahren nichts anderes machen kann.

Could you tell me what "den nächsten" means and the usage of the "dass" clause here?

  • Completed the sentence would read ..., den nächsten nervt, dass. Just the repeated verb is omitted (even if inflected differently). - If this is not sufficient, can you explain, where you have problems`?
    – guidot
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 12:37
  • 1
    The sentence as it stands is grammatically wrong. In parallel constructions with the same verb form, such as "Den einen nerven ..., den andern nerven ...", often the second verb is omitted. In the example sentence, however, the second verb form differs (den andern nervt ...), which is why the omission is actually not correct. Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


there is a wordpair in German that is usually used as:

der eine.... , der andere...

In your example "der andere" was replaced by "der nächste" with the same meaning:

This sentence could be divided in two full sentences that probably are easier to translate:

Den einen [Menschen] nerven die Mitreisenden in der Bahn

Den anderen [Menschen] nervt, dass er beim Autofahren nichts anderes machen kann.

By making a main clause out of the second subordinate clause (that has its repeating verb omitted) the usage of "dass" should also be clearer.

With all these information you should be able to conclude the following translation:

One is annoyed by the fellow travelers in the train, the other one by the fact that he is not able to do anything else when driving a car

  • Thank you for the clear explanation! Could you tell me is it common to replace "der andere" with ”der nächste” in the wordpair?
    – sy0224
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 12:55
  • This is a stylistic choice. It could be because e.g.: Germans do not like to repeat words. And we are taught in school that repeating words is bad style. So maybe the author already used "andere" somewhere in the rest of text and decided two avoid it here. Another reason would be, if there are more than two parts to enumerate like: Die einen mögen das, die nächsten mögen jenes und wieder andere mögen eine dritte Sache... That case again "andere" would not be repeated twice... I would not call this "common" but it is also nothing that a German reader would care about.
    – Tode
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:03
  • Can "der eine" only be used in this wordpair or can it be used alone in other conditions?
    – sy0224
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:09
  • This totally depends on context. "Der eine" could also stand totally alone, but then referring to something else and probably pronounced differently
    – Tode
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 13:12
  • 2
    @sy0224 Der eine alone cannot be used like a indefinite pronoun, it would always refer to a particular person. To get the same meaning, you would need to use mancher outside of that wordpair: Manchen nerven die Mitreisenden in der Bahn. Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 15:32

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