Was as a relative pronoun

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Was as a relative pronoun

We can use was (which, that, what) to refer back to a previously mentioned noun or phrase in more detail. We use it after:

  • words like nichts (nothing), alles (all), vieles (lots), etwas (something), das (this/that);

Das ist alles, was wir wissen.

That is all that we know.

Etwas, was neu ist.

Something which is new.

Wir hören das, was du erzählst.

We hear what you're saying.

  • nouns in the superlative;

Das Beste, was es gibt. (das Beste = Superlativ von gut)

The best that there is das Beste is the superlative of gut (good).

Das Tollste, was wir machen. (das Tollste = Superlativ von toll)

The greatest thing that we do – das Tollste is the superlative of toll (great)

  • a whole phrase.

Tim kommt nach Berlin, was keine gute Idee ist.

Tim is coming to Berlin, which is not a good idea.

Caroline kann nicht kochen, was Sigi nicht stört.

Caroline can't cook, which doesn't bother Sigi.

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