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Relative pronouns

I'm really having trouble with these pronouns. I can't figure out any rhyme or reason to them.


"That is the woman that I have helped." : "Das ist die Frau, die ich geholfen habe."

In this case, "geholfen" is a dative verb, so why am I using "die" instead of "der" in the subordinate clause?

If you go to another sentence: "That is the man that I have helped." : "Das ist der Mann, dem ich geholfen habe."

In this case, as before, "geholfen" is a dative verb, yes? It causes the pronoun in the subordinate clause to be a dative noun, right?

With these examples, my question is, why doesn't the article in the first sentence change, while the article in the second one does?

Thanks for replying

June 5, 2017



"Helfen" does take the dative and you aren't missing anything. The only problem here is that the first sentence is wrong. It should indeed be "das ist die Frau, der ich geholfen habe". That use of "die" is a common mistake made by non-native speakers who either haven't fully grasped the case system yet or who can't get their head around the fact that the "masculine" article (der) could possibly be used with a feminine noun. Don't rely on the internet for correct grammar :)


Aaah, thanks! I was using Google Translate.....


"That is the woman that I have helped." : "Das ist die Frau, die ich geholfen habe."

This sentence is wrong. Das ist die Frau, der ich geholfen habe. So your assumption, that here a der is needed is correct.


Alright, thanks!

So basically you are saying that I shoulda trusted my gut and not Google Translate....


I don't think that is the best solution, Google Translate is great for some phrases (specially some very native to a language or a country) and individual words, but it needs a lot more work for full grammar translation (although I'm sure it will get there eventually). The bigger the sentence, the less reliable it is. Your gut... well, the more you practice, the more you should trust it


I don't know where the 1st sentence is from, but it is incorrect. You would need a "der" because of the Dative (as you correctly stated)

-> "That is the woman that I have helped." - "Das ist die Frau, der ich geholfen habe."

You always need to chance the relative pronoun in the subordinate clause if it is Dativ (like in the 2nd sentence, which is correct.)

I'm not sure if that clears it up for you? If not, I can elaborate on relative pronouns and subordinate clauses if you wish.



I got that sentence from Google Translate (the German version, that is).

I think (big guess) that I have it from here. If I need more help, I will get back to you. Thanks for the offer.


That sentence is from the Duolingo tree.

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