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See also: Welcher


Alternative forms[edit]


welch +‎ -er


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welcher (plural welchers)

  1. One who welches.
  2. (British, offensive slang) A Welshman or person of Welsh descent.




From Middle High German welich, from Old High German welih, wilih, from Proto-Germanic *hwilīkaz. Compare English which.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɛlçər/, [ˈvɛl.çɐ], [ˈvɛʎ-], [ˈvɛɪ̯-], [ʋ-]
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  1. (interrogative) which; what
    Welche Farbe hat dein Kleid?
    What colour is your dress?
    Welches Buch in diesem Regal hast du am öftesten gelesen?
    Which book on this shelf have you read most often?
  2. (relative, literary) which
    Er vergaß, die letzte Kugel aus dem Lauf zu nehmen, welcher Fehler ihn das Leben kosten würde.
    He forgot to remove the last bullet from the barrel, a mistake which would cost him his life.



  1. (interrogative) which (one)
    Hier sind zwei Jacken, welche ist deine?
    There are two jackets here, which one is yours?
  2. (relative, literary) that; which; who; whom
    Der Mann, welchen sie als ihren Nachbarn erkannte, lag tot auf dem Bürgersteig.
    The man, whom she recognized to be her neighbour, was lying dead on the pavement.

Usage notes[edit]

  • When used as an interrogative determiner, some speakers may consider welcher rather formal and may use was für instead, e.g. Was für eine Farbe hat dein Kleid? instead of Welche Farbe hat dein Kleid?
  • When welcher isn't used as a determiner followed directly by a noun (Welche Farbe ist deine Lieblingsfarbe?) and is directly followed by the verb sein, it is mostly used in neutral form welches for all genders and plural (Welches ist deine Lieblingsfarbe?). When it agrees with the gender and number, it is usually meant as one from a number of given options (Welche (von diesen) ist deine Lieblingsfarbe?)
  • Welcher as a relative pronoun is virtually never used in the vernacular. It occurs more often in literary German, but overusing it is a typical trait of a pretentious style (generally corrected by editors). The normal relative pronoun in all registers of German is der and its forms.
  • Welcher and its forms may be used avoid a doubled word. For example
    Das Lied, welches das Kind vortrug, wurde vor langer Zeit geschrieben.
avoids das das. The welches version would still not be preferred in general though.
  • German does not distinguish between restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses and relies solely on context to determine which is meant. (See the usage notes at which.) Thus der and its forms are still preferred when English prefers "which":
    Paul schenkt sein Auto, das noch neu ist, seiner Tochter.
    Paul is giving his car, which is still new, to his daughter.


Declension of welcher
masculine feminine neuter plural
nominative welcher welche welches welche
genitive welches
welcher welches
dative welchem welcher welchem welchen
accusative welchen welche welches welche


Further reading[edit]