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I came across the following paragraph:

C ist eine imperative und prozedurale Programmiersprache, die der Informatiker Dennis Ritchie in den frühen 1970er Jahren an den Bell Laboratories entwickelte. Seitdem ist sie eine der am weitesten verbreiteten Programmiersprachen.

The sentence that I'm a little confused about is here:

Seitdem ist sie eine der am weitesten verbreiteten Programmiersprachen.

I understand it's saying "Since then, the C language is one of the most used Programming langauges." However, the main thing I'm unsure of is the indefinite article "eine".

"What" is "eine" referring to? My assumption is that "sie" is the relative pronoun, but "eine" just appears to be an actual word and not an indefinite article, although because it's declined I'm unsure of that. Is "ein-" also used as a replacement for "one" instead of "Einz"? Or is it "eine" accusative and "der" genitive for "Programmiersprachen"?

Lastly, my "superlativ" question should be easy, but when you use it as an adjective proceeding an article, do you use it like this:

"der ( weit | weiter | am weitesten )..."?

All examples online for the "superlativ" never seem to address using it after an article as an actual adjective and I just wanted to verify that I'm interpreting this correctly.

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  • This page shows how to use a German superlative as an adjective: dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/Comparatives/Comparatives.html
    – RHa
    Jan 7 at 21:00
  • @RHa So if I'm understanding it correctly, the gist is that it is using a Nominative-Possessive Pronoun? Jan 7 at 21:13
  • @RHa Regarding the superlative, what I really want to know is if "der am weitesten..." is correct usage. Every superlative example I've seen (including your example) always uses a verb followed by "am (whatever)", never after an article. I've never seen it used in that way before which is why I'm asking. I always thought that the placement of the superlative was similar to something like "noch, gleich, etwas, etc." and weren't used like adjectives/adverbs. Jan 7 at 21:21
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    There seems to be two more or less unrelated questions here. It might be better to ask them separately since it causes less confusion.
    – RDBury
    Jan 8 at 6:51

1 Answer 1

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In "eine der", the "der" indicates here a genitive in plural.

Usually, a genitive can be raplaced by "von + dative", for instance

der Hut meiner Schwester = der Hut meiner Schwester

This is similar to English:

my sister's hat  =  the hat of my sister

Hence, "eine der XXX Programmiersprachen" = "eine von den XXX Programmiersprachen" = "one of the XXX programming languages".

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