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"Everything he said, was true."

Translation:Alles was er sagte, war richtig.

March 28, 2013



Why is "alles er sagte, war richtig" is comsidered wrong? Can't the "was" be omitted?


right, the "was" can't be omitted.


Why can't I use "das" as a relative pronoun here: "alles das er sagte, war richtig"?

In this English example it is omitted (it would read "everything which/that he said, was true" but omission is one of the five ways of translating the relative pronoun into English.


We just do not use this sentence: "alles das er sagte, war richtig"?, we say:

  • Everything what he said, was true = "Alles was er sagte, war richtig"
  • Everything which/that he said, was true. = "All das, was er sagte, war richtig." or "Alles, was er sagte, war richtig.


That one vs. two comma difference is interesting. Do these phrases really have slightly different meanings? alles was er sagte, war richtig vs. alles, was er sagte, war richtig ?


No, they do not have different meanings, it is just an alternative form.

  • 1829

I seems to me that Magister_Smith may have incorrectly used "das" instead of "dass" in his question (since "dass" rather than "das" is used to introduce a subordinate clause).
So let me try asking again: why is "Alles, dass er sagte, war richtig" is incorrect?
For comparison, in English you cannot say "everything what he said, was true", it would have to be "everything that he said ...". So why is it suddenly "was" instead of "dass" in German (given that otherwise they are very strongly correlated).


"Dass" wouldn't make sense here at all. We're using a relative pronoun here, so we use a "der/die/das" pronoun, not "dass." (If the subject were, for instance, "die Worte," we would say "Die Worte, die er sagte," not "Die Worte, dass er sagte.")

The reason for "was" instead of "das" is that many indefinite pronouns ("etwas," "nichts," "alles," and some others) simply use "was" as their relative pronoun. I think this is because these words don't technically have a gender, so using the neuter "das" for them wouldn't make sense; instead a genderless pronoun "was" is used.

  • 1829

Surprisingly different from English then:
"I've heard what he said" but "I've heard everything that he said",
but I guess I'll just have to memorise.


I believe that "das" is completely correct. "Das" and "was" both work as relative pronouns.

EDIT: Nope, I'm wrong. We use "was" instead of "das" if (and only if) the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun. (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/Grammatik/Relativsaetze/relative.html)


wahr vs. richtig?

Which is better here??


"Aller er sagte, war richtig" is wrong, why is that please?


"Everything" is "alles," not "aller."


Can a native speaker please comment on why the "was" is sandwiched in there?


Do you mean a German native speaker? The reasoning is actually the same in both languages, as far as I can tell, but I will explain in English.

The main verb of the sentence is "was".

The sentence has two verbs in it because one is in a relative clause with an omitted relative pronoun. The full sentence should read: "Everything THAT he said, was true". So the main clause is "Everything was true," and the relative clause reads "that he said." That is why we see the comma there.


Sorry I mean the German "was". Meaning, why do they put "what" in there?


It's a relative pronoun introducing the relative clause "was er sagte", the same way we use "which"/"that" in English (e.g. "Everything that he said was true).


I think the point they're getting at is that in English this would be more accurately translated into the perfect tense, but the English version of the sentence is not perfect tense. An insanely common problem that DL has...


Can someone explain why "alles war richtig, was er gesagt hat" is wrong?


The relative clause needs to go right after its antecedent: "Alles, was er gesagt hat, war richtig."


But what about "Das alles war richtig, was er gesagt hat" ? Does it sound off?


why not "alles er sagt war die wahrheit"


Why doesn't the "war" come at the end? Isn't it used as a verb?


"War" (which is indeed a verb) needs to come in second position, as it usually does. "Alles was er sagte" takes up the first position of the main clause, so "war" comes right after it.


why not "alles sagte er stimmte"


That's just not a grammatical sentence and doesn't make any sense.

The structure here uses a relative clause, though the English sentence kind of obfuscates it. You can say "Everything that he said was true" to make it stand out. Then the phrasing is more clear: "Alles, was er sagte, stimmte."


Alles was er gesagt hat, war wahrscheinlich. why is it false? I know it is not Preteritum but it is correct translation


Everything, was er sagte, war wahr.

  • 2309

Alles was er sagte, war wahr. ☺

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