The last paragraph of some text is

Nun weiß ich leider gar nicht, wie ich dem ehrlichen Finder danken kann. Vielleicht liest er ja diesen Blogeintrag oder es liest ihn jemand, dem er die Geschichte erzählt hat: „Vielen, vielen Dank, lieber Finder!“

The part that I am interested in is:

es liest ihn jemand, dem er die Geschichte erzählt hat:

My understanding of above sentence:

Someone read it to him, the ones who were told the story by him." erzählen is to tell.

Why is it written as follows?

es liest ihn jemand

Can we also write it in this way and keep the meaning same?

jemand liest ihn es

  • Could you include the full sentence for context?
    – Carsten S
    Oct 12, 2020 at 6:57
  • 1
    The sentence context is difficult to recognize here. I can only guess the following: Someone reads him (the book author) to whom he has told the story. The last sentence jemand liest ihn es ist nicht richtig. Oct 12, 2020 at 7:05
  • Without context, it's unclear whom or what the pronoun "ihn" is referring to. Your translation has the subjects and objects wrong. It's basically "Someone, whom he has told the story, reads [it]." ("It" not being the story but something else from before this sentence).
    – HalvarF
    Oct 12, 2020 at 7:36
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    The full text is here
    – RDBury
    Oct 12, 2020 at 8:23
  • 1

2 Answers 2


The part that you are interested in contains two pronouns: "ihn" and "er". Both are male, the first one is accusative, the second one nominative. Let us see what they can refer to. Before, two male nouns are introduced,

der ehrliche Finder


der Blogeintrag.

Now let's try to figure out what the "ihn" and "er" may refer to.

es liest ihn jemand

Here, "ihn" is accusative, it refers to what is being read not what does the reading. Now usually blog entries are read, people read, so "ihn" likely refers to "der Blogeintrag".

..., dem er die Geschichte erzählt hat.

Here, "er" does the telling, so it is likely "der ehrliche Finder". Let's replace the pronouns and see whether the sentence makes sense.

Vielleicht liest [der ehrliche Finder] ja diesen Blogeintrag oder es liest [den Blogeintrag] jemand, dem [der ehrliche Finder] die Geschichte erzählt hat:

That makes sense, in English it would be.

Maybe the honest finder reads this blog entry, or someone whom the honest finder has told the story reads the blog entry.

Or with pronouns as in the original

Maybe he reads it, or someone whom he has told the story reads it.

Of course, in English a blog entry (short blog nowadays, I suppose) is "it" not "he" or "him".

  • Vielen Dank :) Es tut mir sehr leid. Sorry for replying late. Can we also write it in this way: jemand liest ihn es. Oct 14, 2020 at 17:14
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    @NoishaStudieren, no the "es" in the original is just a placeholder that occupies the position before the verb because the author decided to put everything else after the verb, "Es liest ihn jemand" is the same as "jemand liest ihn" (or "ihn liest jemand").
    – Carsten S
    Oct 14, 2020 at 17:33
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    @NoishaStudieren german.stackexchange.com/q/37476/3237
    – Carsten S
    Oct 14, 2020 at 18:03
  • Nochmal vielen Dank fuer Ihre Hilfe und Zeit :) Oct 15, 2020 at 4:39

It is really important to ask for the whole sentence:

Vielleicht liest er ja diesen Blogeintrag oder es liest ihn jemand, dem er die Geschichte erzählt hat...

"ihn" refers to "Blogeintrag" (= blog post).

The meaning of the phrase is that the person is looking for the "honest finder" by writing this blog post and the writer hopes that the finder will read it or another person who knows the finder will read it and will tell him...

You can reshape the sentence as follows so that it becomes more understandable:

Vielleicht liest er (~ the honest finder) ja diesen Blogeintrag oder jemand liest dies (~ the blog post), der (refers to jemand) die Geschichte von ihm (refers to finder) erzählt bekommen hat...

So the translation of this sentence is:

Maybe he reads this blog post or someone reads it (~ "ihn" -> blog post) who got told the story by him.

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