I have encountered this paragraph:

Frauen und Männer sind ähnlich stark in den Berufsgruppen der Ärzte und Apotheker, im Bankwesen, aber auch in den Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften vertreten. Alles Bereiche, in denen früher vor allem Männer tätig waren.

Alles Bereiche? What does it mean literally in English? From context I can understand that it means "all the domains, in which ..." What does alles mean here, taking in consideration that it's conjugated to the word Bereiche?

  • 3
    Can you not simply translate it literally to English, especially with context? "Banking, liberal arts, STEM -- all [of these are] areas in which predominantly men used to work". Or am I falling again for a Germanism? Mar 10 '21 at 15:12
  • But it does make perfect sense.
    – TaW
    Mar 10 '21 at 21:34
  • I think a more natural way to say it in English is "All of which are".
    – pcardon
    Mar 11 '21 at 6:29
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica, the OP is asking us: "What does it mean literally?" It doesn't make sense to me when you ask the OP back: "Can you not translate it literally". It's like circular reasoning. Mar 11 '21 at 8:20
  • @BjörnFriedrich Rereading that I suspect that there is not a literal translation at all. My attempt is actually not a literal translation: In "all of these", "all" is arguably a plural. The construct "das alles sind" has no direct translation afaics -- "all of that are funny things" sounds too funny --, and that's probably what the OP stumbled upon. Mar 11 '21 at 10:08

Alles Bereiche, in denen früher vor allem Männer tätig waren.

This is actually an ellipsis where the two words das sind were omitted.

Das sind alles Bereiche, in denen früher vor allem Männer tätig waren.
(All of these are areas where primarily men used to work.)

As hinted in the comments, alles in the above construction supplements das. This should be distinguished from the following construction in that alle is an attribute of Bereiche:

Das sind alle Bereiche, in denen früher vor allem Männer tätig waren.
(These are all areas where primarily men used to work.)

In the previous version, I had not thought about the importance of this distinction, as not even the DeepL translator translates it correctly.

  • 1
    Why wasn't it written: alle Bereiche? Why the alles instead of alle? Mar 9 '21 at 22:14
  • 8
    @MarioBedoun: "Alle Bereiche [...]" would mean "All of the areas where men used to work", which is not the intended meaning. All of the fields mentioned were male-dominated, but there were more such fields which are not mentioned.
    – Mophotla
    Mar 10 '21 at 4:54
  • 9
    Das sind {alle Bereiche} = 'these are {all areas} (that ...)' // Das sind {alles} {Bereiche} = {Das} {alles} sind Bereiche = '{all of these} are areas (that ...)' Mar 10 '21 at 6:13
  • 1
    Just to underscore this, it wouldn't be surprising to see the equivalent fragment "All areas where primarily men used to work" used in exactly the same way in English.
    – Spencer
    Mar 10 '21 at 11:50
  • @Spencer, good point. However, then it becomes ambiguous, because you cannot make the distinction anymore, can you? Mar 10 '21 at 12:14

As @BjörnFriedrich wrote: it's an ellipsis where das sind was omitted.

Das sind alles Bereiche, ...

That's already half of the story. The remaining question is why it says alles and not alle. The answer is that alles is a supplement to das here (not an attribute to Bereiche) that can take several positions in the sentence:

  • Das sind alles Bereiche (in denen ...)
  • Alles das sind Bereiche ...
  • Das alles sind Bereiche ...

It means:

All of these are areas that ...

The exact translation can change according to the context, but the meaning stays the same:

  • Das alles und noch viel mehr ...
  • All of that (that all) and even much more ...

The Dudengrammatik covers this topic in § 410, subsections (viii) and (ix).


"Alles" does not refer to "Bereiche" in this case. It refers to the previously mentioned domains - and can be translated as "everything previously mentioned (is/are)".


It means in this context "all the mentioned occupations".


What complicates it, is that the text has been torn out of context.

Alles Bereiche, in denen früher vor allem Männer tätig waren.

...is not an independent sentence.

If it would look like: "Bla di bla di bla bla bla..., all areas that used to be predominantly occupied by men.", that would make it clearer.
It would even allow an almost literal translation.
The "...,all areas...", in that case used as a literal translation of "...,alles Bereiche..", is a contraction under a common denominator of the 'blas' and the 'dis' to be found in the earlier part of the same sentence.

If you don't do that and see it as a single sentence, you'll be looking for a reference where there is none.

Edit: "...,all areas previously predominantly occupied by men." hollows it out beyond repair as a sentence. Its just a bit hard to say. Lots of Prr, Prr and syllables and stuff. Not very English.

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