What does this sentence mean

What does this sentence mean?

You have a sentence here that contains a relative clause.

This is the main clause:

The clever good-for-nothing Selicour achieves honor and happiness without any scruples.

That means: Selicour is a no-brainer, and he's clever. This Selicour gets honor and he gets lucky too. He does it without hesitation.

Selicour is described in more detail in the realtive clause:

... who lives brilliantly on the fruits of other people's work.

The relative clause begins with the relative pronoun "der". Each pronoun is a proxy for something else. Here the pronoun refers to the subject of the main clause, ie to "the clever good-for-nothing Selicour".

I shorten this subject to its core (Ā»SelicourĀ«), put this word in place of the pronoun in the relative clause and move the verb from the last to the second position in the sentence so that a main clause emerges. The result is:

Selicour thrives on the fruits of other people's labor.

There is "other people's work" in the genitive and is a supplement to the fruits. This is easier to see in this sentence:

He lives on the fruits of labor. (He lives on whose fruits?)

The work can be described in more detail using the same scheme, and that can be done again with a Geniv extension. (Whose work? Other people's work).

He lives on the fruits of other people's labor.

This addition (from other people) can also be preferred, but this makes the article disappear:

He lives on the fruits of other people's work.

The turn

live brilliantly on the fruits of labor

is actually an idiomatic term. With the Fruits of labor all results of the work are meant. "Shiny" is a synonym for "excellent".


The sentence means:

A person named Selicour has the following characteristics:

  • He's a no-no
  • He's clever
  • He lives brilliantly on fruits

The fruits are the result of work, but that work was done by other people.

This Selicor also does something in the sentence:

Selicour comes to honor and happiness.