Was or das?

Das (which, that) generally refers to a neuter noun.

Das Haus, das ich sehe. Relativpronomen

The house which I am looking at.

Was, when it means “which, that”, is used:

  • after words such as nichts (nothing), alles (everything), etwas (something) or das (this, that) – without a noun.

Nichts, was du möchtest.

Nothing that you would like.

Das, was wir essen.

What we are eating (literally “That which we are eating”).

  • after superlative neuter nouns (meaning “the most…”): das + noun + ‑ste ending + comma + was.

Das Schönste, was es gibt.

The most beautiful thing that there is.


  • After a preposition such as auf (on), mit (with), ohne (without) or über (over, about), we use das rather than was.

Nichts, über das wir sprechen.

Nothing which we are talking about (literally “Nothing about which we are talking”).

Das Schönste, auf das wir anstoßen.

The most wonderful thing which we drink to.

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