The relative pronouns welcher, welche, welches

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The relative pronouns welcher, welche, welches

We can use welcher, welche and welches (all meaning “which”) to refer to a previous noun and describe it in more detail.

Ich höre die Musik. Die Musik ist schön. Die Musik, welche ich höre, ist schön. 

I'm listening to the music. The music is beautiful. The music which I'm listening to is beautiful.

Ich schreibe einem Kunden. Der Kunde ist reich. Der Kunde, welchem ich schreibe, ist reich. 

I am writing to a client. The client is rich. The client to whom I am writing is rich.

We add the relevant adjective ending associated with the definite article to welcher:

NominativAkkusativDativ
maskulin welcher welchen welchem
feminin welche welche welcher
neutrum welches welches welchem
Plural welche welche welchen

Notes

  • Welcher is not used in the genitive Genitiv.
  • The relative pronouns der, die, das Relativpronomen are used more frequently than welcher, welche, welches.

Die Sprache, welche ich spreche, ist Deutsch. = Die Sprache, die ich spreche, ist Deutsch.

Both sentences mean “The language which I am speaking is German”, but the version using die is more common than the version using welche.

  • Welcher is also used to mean “which” when asking a question.

-Welche Farbe magst du? -Blau.

Which color do you like? ‑Blue.


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