Jeder, der wer war, war da.

English Translation

Everybody who was anybody was there.

Hello all,

GPT says this sentence is incorrect and gives this one instead:
"Jeder, der jemand war, war da"

Google doesn’t really help since both seem to be very rarely used.

Would a German speaker use either of those, or is there a better alternative?

I’m not even sure if it’s officially incorrect. It’s correct as far as natives would indeed say that. Using “jemand” is more formal, but also just as normal to say in everday speech. Or putting it the other way around, using “wer” here is very colloquial.

I guess it’s used by analogy to “was”:
Das ist ja mal was! - Now that’s something!

Here the “was” is short for “etwas”. But it’s also a question word (Interrogativpronomen), just like “wer” is. The thing is that “wer” isn’t short for “jemand”, it’s just being used as if it was.

Wiktionary even mentions it as Pronoun/#5: wer - Wiktionary, the free dictionary

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ChatGPT is known to make stuff up every now and then…

That’s what matters to me, much more so than ChatGPT’s opinion on the matter :slight_smile:

I checked your link and they even list it as a synonym for jemand in some cases:

  1. (indefinite, colloquial) somebody, someone; anybody, anyone (an unspecified person)

    Synonyms: jemand, einer
    Da ist wer an der Tür. ― There’s somebody at the door.


“Alles, was Rang und Namen hat, war da.”

Yes, you use alles to refer to persons in this sentence. It’s an idiom. Alternatively, you might say:

“Jeder von Rang und Namen war da.”

Meaning “The Who-is-Who was there.” Everyone of some importance (with a certain rank and a big name) was there.


Very nice, thanks David!

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