Simple example:

A1) Der Mann, den wir gestern sahen, rennt.

Is that correct with that lone verb at the end or should it better be

A2) Der Mann rennt, den wir gestern sahen.

another example

B1) Ich werde alle Zeitungen, die du willst, bringen.


B2) Ich werde alle Zeitungen bringen, die du willst.

I hope you get the idea of what I mean.

Edit: to clarify, the two examples are meant to be the german translation of

The man we saw yesterday is running


I will bring all the newspapers (that) you want

  • you first example part 2 is faulty
    – Vogel612
    Oct 26, 2013 at 15:47
  • Care to elaborate?
    – persson
    Oct 26, 2013 at 15:53
  • alright. you finish your sentence: Der Mann rennt. and then you requalify the subject? in a relative clause? noone does that. i don't even know if this is gramatically allowed, but the order of sentence does not make sense in this example. on the other hand the second example part two is correct, because you requalify something else. not ich but alle.
    – Vogel612
    Oct 26, 2013 at 16:16
  • Ah, I see what you're getting at (though probably you meant "not er but alle"). So I take that when you say something about the subject in a subordinate, form 1 from my first example should be used?
    – persson
    Oct 26, 2013 at 16:20
  • yup. basically that's what i'm saying. by the way. in your second example ich is the subject and thus the equivalent to er in the first ;) that's why "not ich but alle"
    – Vogel612
    Oct 26, 2013 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


As for B1 and B2, I'd like to note that both are possible, but have different connotations:

B1) Ich werde alle Zeitungen, die du willst, bringen.

This would be used as a reply if you get a list of newspapers being supposed to buy them. The translation I'd choose would be I'll bring you all the papers you want.

B2) Ich werde alle Zeitungen bringen, die du willst.

This in German has to connotation of I'd do anything for you. Example: Your wife has the flu and asks you to go and buy her the Times. Then you could use the above sentence, which I'd translate as I'll bring you any paper you want.


In German, using subordinate clauses and sticking the verb at the end is how you build these arbitrarily long, nested sentences.

Der Mann, den wir gestern, als ich alle Zeitungen, die du wolltest, brachte, sahen, rennt.

I personally find the version with the verb at the end more pleasing to the ear. Provided the nesting level doesn't exceed one, that is. More than that (particularly if you don't see the sentence written down), and you're fast heading into mental stack overflow territory.

Der Mann rennt, den wir gestern sahen.

I don't know if that's grammatically correct or not, but the two clauses aren't well connected and full sentence sound disjoint and generally awkward.

  • The last example sounds a bit strange. When talking to another I'd rather use Da rennt der Mann, denn wir gestern sahen.. Oct 28, 2013 at 9:05
  • @ThorstenDittmar That's why I'm not sure if that sentence is grammatically correct. If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't...
    – divby0
    Oct 28, 2013 at 12:40

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