I think with Teil (English - part) it would never be something with plural, but here it is "den Teilen", so why is the grammar here like that? Thanks.

  • 5
    "In large parts of Europe" is possible in English; I think it would emphasize that it's made up of several unconnected pieces. In any case, there are many expressions where German and English don't agree on details, so you can't infer that German will follow a given pattern from the fact that English does.
    – RDBury
    Jun 10, 2022 at 23:19

3 Answers 3


You can alternatively say "in einem großen Teil Europas". The sentence "im großen Teil Europas" is grammatically correct, but it does not sound nice.

  • so it is the matter of "sounds nice", which is something gained through exposure and intuition, right? Because I don't think this is mentioned in any of my grammar books.
    – Le Nguyen
    Jun 11, 2022 at 1:28
  • 1
    @LeNguyen Grammar books usually do not focus on language style. Thus you need experience which you can only get by speaking, listening and reading. And things are often not really clear-cut. Even native speakers do not always agree what is good practice.
    – Paul Frost
    Jun 11, 2022 at 8:55

It's in plural because it translates to large "parts" of Europe. And the plural dative form is den. Hence "in" and not "im" and "Teilen" and not "Teil". Hope this helps and feel free to upvote and accept my answer :)

  • if one would want to use singular, one would probably phrase it like "Im Großteil Europas..." Jun 13, 2022 at 13:12

I agree with the comment of rdbury in the interpretation, that plural is used since legal measures are typically made on country level. When looking on a map the relevant countries are more likely than not disconnected.

If talking about a mere percentage share, this could be re-phrased to:

.. in einem großen Teil Europas...

but Im does not reflect this indefinitve article quality required for the meaning.

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