Eine Möglichkeit des Umgangs mit einem solchen Aufschiebungsverhalten kann sein, d(ie) als störend oder unangenehm eingestufte Handlung in mehrere Teile aufzuspalten, um die Aufgabe weniger groß oder auch weniger bedrohlich erscheinen zu lassen. Related

The bracketted part was removed, and I am expected to fill in for it. In my original reading, I understood the semantics as it being a relative sentence and referring to something in the main sentence, but actually the second part is an infitive sentence with Handlung.

Could someone give me some tips on how to figure out if it is an infintive or relative sentence? On what should I pay attention?

  • A relative clause would need a conjugated verb. But as soon you have a "zu" going with the verb (as in "aufzuspalten" or "zu lassen"), you know that you have an "Infinitivgruppe". Commented Jan 2 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


In the example above, one can tell that it is an infinitive clause because it contains an infinitive (actually two: aufzuspalten and erscheinen zu lassen, but only the former matters here).

You may have to make sure that the infinitive is actually an infinitive and not a plural form. But aufzuspalten is inambiguous in this respect.

Another way to rule out a relative clause is to see if the sentence is syntactically incomplete without the clause. Here, Eine Möglichkeit des Umgangs mit einem solchen Aufschiebungsverhalten kann sein is incomplete because the verb lacks a complement. Looking at the English equivalent: One possibility of dealing with such a procrastinative behaviour can be - can be what? This sounds incomplete.

When a relative clause is omitted, the remaining sentence is generally still valid, although it may be lacking some information:

Ich habe den Brief gelesen, den du mir geschickt hast.

Ich habe den Brief gelesen.

The latter is still a valid sentence.

  • I am still confused is this like some sort of chained infitive? After the first comma and then again after second?
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 1 at 15:02
  • @tryst with freedom The infinitive clause with erscheinen zu lassen depends on the infinitive clause with aufzuspalten, so one has only to look at aufzuspalten to tell that the part after the first comma is an infinitive clause and not a relative clause. I edited my answer accordingly.
    – RHa
    Commented Jan 1 at 19:12
  • how is it unambigous exactly?
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 1 at 19:29
  • aufzuspalten cannot be anything but an infinitive with a zu added.
    – RHa
    Commented Jan 1 at 19:48

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