Relative Pronouns in German

The main relative pronoun in German is (der, die, das) declined below. It corresponds to English (who, which, that). The genitive forms correspond to English (whose, of which).

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative der die das die
Accusative den die das die
Dative dem der dem denen
Genitive dessen deren/derer* dessen deren/derer*

*Traditionally deren is the correct form here. However, in actual practice derer is more common especially in the genitive plural. However, if followed directly by a noun then deren is preferred. After prepositions, der can replace deren.


(welcher, welche, welches) corresponds to "who'', ''which'', ''that'' and is an alternative to (der, die, das) above. It is typically encounter in formal writing, and even there, it is much less common than (der, die, das) above. It can even sound pretentious if overused.

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative welcher welche welches welche
Accusative welchen welche welches welche
Dative welchem welcher welchem welchen

It is frequently used (though never necessary) to avoid the repetitious use of (der, die, das).

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