I would like to reply to an email in formal context. I have doubts regarding the German counterpart of the English phrase:

Please find attached the completed documents.

Is the German phrase written below apt and correct in regard to the context?

Im Anhang finden Sie die ausgefüllten Dokumente.

While browsing through some random documents I came across a sentence in which der ausgefüllten Dokumente was employed, I was wondering how a neuter noun in plural could be assigned der in the concerned sentence. I am aware of the genitive case but I am not able to get hold of the gist!

Der EUROPASS-Rahmen und die zugehörigen Unterstützungsdienste sollten sich auf ein geeignetes Informationssystem stützen, das eine koordinierte Verknüpfung der ausgefüllten Dokumente und deren Bereitstellung für die Inhaber im Internet ermöglicht. (EURLEX 52003PC0796, section 2.5)

  • 5
    General hint: The rule of putting a space before “double punctuation” such as ?!:; is specific to French. It is neither used in German nor English and looks rather strange here. – chirlu Aug 22 '13 at 9:56

Yes, der ausgefüllten Dokumente is genitive (meaning of the completed documents). The sentence is from an EU document, which means that it exists in all official languages of the EU, including English and French:

The Europass framework and the related support services should rely upon a suitable information system, allowing to link in a coordinated way the completed documents and to make them available to their holders through the Internet.

Le cadre Europass et les services de soutien connexes devraient s'appuyer sur un système d'information adapté, permettant de relier de manière coordonnée les documents complétés et de les mettre à la disposition de leur titulaire par Internet.

Regarding the other question, a more common phrase would be:

Die ausgefüllten Unterlagen habe ich beigefügt.

I think Unterlagen (always plural) is better than Dokument(e), which makes it sound like very official documents, such as a birth certificate. If it is actually a form, das ausgefüllte Formular would be even better.

  • That ought to solve my confusion. And thanks for the suggestion. – Gil Aug 22 '13 at 10:04
  • @Geekasaur: I’ve included the official English and French versions of the sentence you cited. – chirlu Aug 22 '13 at 10:10
  • Merci bien pour les explications précises :) – Gil Aug 22 '13 at 10:20

In your English original, you are speaking about one document, singular.

If that is what you intend to say, the following is correct:

Im Anhang finden Sie das ausgefüllte Dokument.

I slightly disagree with chirlu about the usage of "Dokumente" and "Unterlagen", at least in a computer context. Your PDF document is a "Dokument", regardless of whether it contains your CV or a party invitation.

chirlu is right about the form of "der Dokumente":

noun phrase (eine Verküpfung genitive attribute (der ausgefüllten Dokumente))

  • Thanks! That means the original sentence in my question stands good for completed electronic documents ,right ? – Gil Aug 22 '13 at 10:14
  • Sorry , I wanted to say documents, corrected now . – Gil Aug 22 '13 at 10:23
  • 1
    @elena: Admittedly, Dokument is official Microsoft/Adobe terminology, but do you know anyone who says so? I'd say Word-Datei and PDF are the normal expressions. – chirlu Aug 22 '13 at 10:24
  • elena, I removed the obsolete part about the c&p-error. But you should also notice that the plural/singular issue has been changed in the question as well. – Em1 Aug 22 '13 at 10:44
  • 1
    @Geekasaur: Your translation is correct German. chirlu: Agreed, "Datei" sounds better referring to files. Referring to files as "Unterlagen" seemed unintuitive to me. Em1: Thanks. I'm guessing my answer is getting more obsolete by the minute. ;) – elena Aug 22 '13 at 13:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.