Recently I've seen that "wer" can mean "someone" in some contexts- e.g. "Kann wer spielen?" meaning "Can someone play?" Is it a synonym of "jemand" here or are there contexts where one should say "wer" instead of "jemand"? Thanks for the help.

1 Answer 1


Using "wer" instead of "jemand" is only possible (and, actually, pretty common) in colloquial or regional speech. It isn't commonly used in writing or "elevated conversation".

Background: "wer" is either a relative pronoun or an interrogative pronoun. "Kann wer spielen" uses it as an indefinite pronoun, which it isn't.

  • The second paragraph seems to contradict the first.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:16
  • @DavidVogt I'm not sure in what way?
    – tofro
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:47
  • The first paragraph suggests indefinite wer exists, the second claims it doesn't.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 15:20
  • @DavidVogt But that's exactly the point: Indefinite "wer" exists in colloquial language only.
    – tofro
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 16:40
  • 1
    @userunknown das ist die Verwendung als Relativpronomen. "Kann wer spielen" ist kein Relativpronomen.
    – tofro
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 18:55

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