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    I can't for the life of me figure out how to say "which" in this context:

    I'm trying to say "The first and second stanzas have different rhythms, which sets them apart from each other..."

    Please help!


    February 15, 2018



    I think you should not focus on how to translate an isolated word ("which"), but rather on how to translate the idea. This is how I would express it (a suggestion):

    "Die erste und zweite Strophe unterscheiden sich dadurch, dass sie verschiedene Rhythmen aufweisen."

    or, shorter and closer to your "set apart" ("sich voneinander abheben"):

    "Die erste und zweite Strophe heben sich durch ihre verschiedenen Rhythmen voneinander ab".


    "Die erste und zweite Strophe haben (ein verschiedenes Versmaß?*), was sie voneinander unterscheidet."

    "was" in this case means "which" in the sense of "which is the thing that [sets them apart]".

    (...as opposed to e.g. "The book which I read last week" = "Das Buch, das ich gestern gelesen habe", or also - formally and/or old-fashioned - "Das Buch, welches ich gestern gelesen habe")

    *Versmaß = metre / metric pattern, like da-DAM-da-DAM-da-DAM vs. da-da-DAM-da-DAM-da-da-DAM, if that's what you're aiming at?


    Your profile pic, is it from Avatar?

    And are you trying to say this in German?


    Well, keep in mind that we could also say " The first and second stanzas have different rhythms, that sets them apart from each other...." http://context.reverso.net/translation/english-german/...different+rhythms%2C+that+sets+them+apart+from+each+other The examples here don't highlight "die" for "that" though they should from what I learned later.

    Here are some excellent examples of sentences with dependent clauses: https://www.thoughtco.com/german-sentences-in-the-right-order-4068769

    Anyway, I think that I would go with "dass", but I would love to hear from a German speaker.

    Ah, here is what I was looking for: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~deutsch/Grammatik/WordOrder/relatives.html

    So welcher can only be used for the genitive case. It is after all not a stand alone pronoun, but used more like an adjective, while "which" can be used as a relative pronoun.

    So since "rhythms" is plural, "die" ( Accusative would stay the same, but dative would be denen.) I actually bothered to check what gender "rhythm" is : http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-german/rhythms Knowing it is masculine would have been important if it were singular.

    See how that is different from "dass" which is a conjunction but not a relative pronoun, http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/dass

    So from the context link, I learned that "from each other" is "voneinander". I am going to try: "Die erste und die zweite Strophe haben verscheidene Rhythmen, die sie voneinander unterscheiden."

    or do I need to use "sich" instead of "sie" ? Sometimes these verbs require reflexive for a particular meaning. I am not sure if this does?


    Yes, "sich" voneinander unterscheiden.

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