The whole sentence is something like this:

"...,...,dass Sie im Falle der Feststellung des Enteignungswertes im Namen des künftig zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers können Sie..."

I know können refers to the "Sie" and I know we use "zu" for Infinitivkonstruktion but this doesn't seem like an Infinitivkonstruktion. And we've already used "in Namen" so i don't think "zu" means "for" in this sentence. I couldn't translate this sentence in my head could someone please help?

  • 1
    Der Teil nach "Rechtsinhabers" wirkt kaputt - eine sinnvolle Fortführung des Satzes fällt mir nicht ein. Kannst Du das nochmal verifizieren und evtl. den Anschluss fortsetzen, auch wenn es für die eigentliche Frage unerheblich ist? Dec 15, 2022 at 21:44

3 Answers 3


des zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers is a German rudimentary Gerundivum (Participium necessitatis). It is a construct with a present participle denoting a necessity or (if negated), impossibility.

English has something similar with the "to be to ..." construct ("Taxes are to be paid") - and note the "to" which is a direct equivalent to "zu" in the German sentence.

Here, "des zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers" means

des Rechtsinhabers, der noch bestimmt werden muss/soll.

The construct is rather uncommon outside legalese German.


A construction like "Substantiv ist zu Verb" can be used to describe a task, an obligation or similar that needs to be done to the substantive. For example

Die Blume ist regelmäßig zu wässern.
The flower is to be watered regularily.

Auf der Baustelle ist immer ein Schutzhelm zu tragen.
On the construction site, a hard hat is to be worn at all times.

Das Fenster ist geschlossen zu halten.
The window is to be kept closed.

Similar in Plural

Hunde sind an der Leine zu führen.
Dogs are to be lead on a leash.

This construction has a quite formal and authoritative vibe. You may find it in legal texts or similar, or on signage like the aforementioned construction site example.

In your sentence fragment, "des künftig zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers" is a further description of the "Rechtsinhaber", of the holder of rights. This holder of rights still needs to be "bestimmt", to be chosen, identified, determined or appointed. So you could say

Der Rechtsinhaber is künftig zu bestimmen.
The holder of rights is to be determined at a future time.

In your fragment, this means

(...) im Namen des zukünftig zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers (...)
(...) in the name of the holder of rights who is to be determined at a future time (...)

  • I think your answer would benefit from an explanation of the grammar of bestimmend. Dec 6, 2022 at 5:49

(…), dass Sie im Falle der Feststellung des Enteignungswertes im Namen des künftig zu bestimmenden Rechtsinhabers (…)

Der künftige Rechtsinhaber ist erst noch zu bestimmen (has to be confirmed).

Ohne das "zu" wäre es ein künftig bestimmender Rechtsinhaber "(the legal owner(?) will be ruling in the future".

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