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Sie halten Johannes der Ingenieur als der wichtigste Fachmann ihrer Firma.

I don't know if I used the two "der" articles well.

In the sentence "Sie halten den Mann" the accusative is obvious, but I'm not sure what to use here, and why.

Or perhaps it's possible I'm not building the sentence well all together.

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What you mean is

Sie halten Johannes, den Ingenieur, für den wichtigsten Fachmann ihrer Firma.

Also in this sense we have an object, which requires the accusative. Only the subject can be a nominative.

The term "Johannes, der Ingenieur" can, of course, be used in the nominative case, like

Johannes, der Ingenieur, ist der wichtigste Fachmann der Firma.

But in your sentence, it's the object.

  • For a verb that takes the konjunktion als - could one here convey a very similar meaning betrachten? "Sie betrachten Johannes, den Ingenieur, als den wichtigsten Fachmann ihrer Firma" – David Hall Apr 20 '13 at 15:16
  • It sounds a little awkward, I don't think you would say it like that. Grammatically it is correct, though. – Anke Apr 20 '13 at 16:29
  • @DavidHall 'Betrachten' is not wrong, but you'd rather use 'ansehen': Sie sehen Johannes, den Ingenieur, als den wichtigsten Fachmann der Firma an. There is however a slight difference: 'jemanden für etwas halten' can express the narrator's notion that 'they are mistaken / taking J. for something he isn't.' – TehMacDawg Apr 20 '13 at 23:16

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