tpeck

German Dative Case

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Hello!  Needing help understanding the dative case in simple sentences.

Example: "Ich miete nicht meinem (meinen?) Haus."   So since the house is directly affected by the verb "miete", is it an accusative or dative direct object.  Is that correct?  Everything I've learned so far are dative sentences with a subject - verb - direct object - indirect object and I have not seen examples where there is no indirect object so I get confused.  Can someone clear this up for me please?  Thank you!

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Hi there

I can help you with that. Please provide the original sentence in English first, though. I will help you to properly translate it into German and then give you an explanation about the (Dative) case. 

regards

Lingua

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3 hours ago, tpeck said:

Hello!  Needing help understanding the dative case in simple sentences.

Example: "Ich miete nicht meinem (meinen?) Haus."   So since the house is directly affected by the verb "miete", is it an accusative or dative direct object.  Is that correct?  Everything I've learned so far are dative sentences with a subject - verb - direct object - indirect object and I have not seen examples where there is no indirect object so I get confused.  Can someone clear this up for me please?  Thank you!

I think you might got things twisted. 

In German, (as well as in other languages!!)  the accusative case corresponds to DIRECT OBJECTS and dative corresponds to INDIRECT OBJECTS.

Let me provide you some examples. Hopefully this will help you to better understand German Grammar and Cases.

Ich schreibe einen Brief. ----> This is a sentence that only has a direct object ("einen Brief"). The question that you have to ask to get the correct case is " WEN oder WAS schreibst du". Therefore "einen Brief" is accusative. 

Ich helfe Dir.   ------> In this sentence, "Dir" is a indirect object , because you can ask "WHOM are you helping"---> I am helping YOU. So this is a sentence with an idirect object, without a direct object present in the sentence.

There are sentences, in which you have BOTH a DIRECT and an INDIRECT object.

For instance:

Ich gebe Dir einen Brief.  ---> Here you have first the indirect object "Dir" and then you got the direct object "einen Brief". In sentences where you have an indirect and a direct object, the indirect object is usually placed before the direct object. 

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Thank you!  I think I get it stuck in my head that the accusative "receiver of the action" and the dativ "Person or thing being affected" mean the same thing so deciphering the two gets me mixed up so easily.  I think I overthink it too much.  For example:  "I rent my house." ---> "Ich miete mein Haus."  I always want to make this dative because I keep thinking that house is being affected since it is being rented. I know it's ridiculous to think that way and I can't seem to stop thinking that way. :( 

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11 hours ago, tpeck said:

Thank you!  I think I get it stuck in my head that the accusative "receiver of the action" and the dativ "Person or thing being affected" mean the same thing so deciphering the two gets me mixed up so easily.  I think I overthink it too much.  For example:  "I rent my house." ---> "Ich miete mein Haus."  I always want to make this dative because I keep thinking that house is being affected since it is being rented. I know it's ridiculous to think that way and I can't seem to stop thinking that way. :( 

I think it is easier to stick to questions when it comes to Dativ and Akkusativ in German. 

So just ask yourself : Is it "WEN oder WAS miete ich?" or is it "WEM miete ich"? It is very obviously "WEN oder WAS miete ich" in this question, therefore it must be accusative.

Accusative ----- Question you need to ask: "Wen oder was" (who/what)

Dative --------- Question you need to ask " Wem" (whom)

So whenever you have a sentence, try to formulate those questions in your head and in most cases it will be pretty easy for you to pick the right answer.

So lets illustrate this with one more example:

 

"Das Haus gehört mir"

So if you wanna know in which case the "mir" stands, then simply ask the questions that I just gave you. 

Wen oder was gehört das Haus? (indicator question for accusative case)

Wem gehört das Haus? (indicator question for dative case) 

The first question can obviously not be formulated, therefore question 2 is the right one. And it is therefore in Dative case.

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Thank you.  What is the indicator for this Dative sentence since I cannot ask  "Wem".  These are the sentences that are most frustrating for me since a person is not the indirect object:   

Ich habe an meinem Geburtstag gearbeitet.

  "Ich" is the subject, "gearbeitet" is the direct object and "Geburstag" is the indirect object.  So I should remember that "when" sentences are also Dative. Is that correct? 

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12 hours ago, tpeck said:

Thank you.  What is the indicator for this Dative sentence since I cannot ask  "Wem".  These are the sentences that are most frustrating for me since a person is not the indirect object:   

Ich habe an meinem Geburtstag gearbeitet.

 

  "Ich" is the subject, "gearbeitet" is the direct object and "Geburstag" is the indirect object.  So I should remember that "when" sentences are also Dative. Is that correct? 

Not exactly. In fact you still have to ask "wem". The question is simply: "An wem/was habe ich gearbeitet? ---> An meinem Geburtstag. Since you can only ask this question by using a preposition in front of "meinem Geburtstag" (the preposition "an"), it is a Prepositional Object. There again, though, the Case is Dative, meaning that the prepositional object is in dative case. (a prepositional object can be either dative or accusative case).

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I promise this will be the last question.  If I want to say "It is cozy in my bedroom." --> "Es ist gemütlich in meinem Schlafzimmer, "  then is this dative?  I have to ask the question "wo"?  

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It is in Dative case yes, but it is a a prepositional object again. So there is a dative case within the prepositional object (as in the last example). The prepositional object being "in meinem Schlafzimmer". Prepositional objects are usually introduced by a preposition. Here it is the preposition "in". In the other example (Ich habe an meinem Geburtstag gearbeitet), the preposition that introduced the prepositional object was "an". The dative object within the prepositional object is just being "meinem Schlafzimmer".

 

 

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I'm so sorry. Please explain "spazieren gehen in dem Park".  I'm shown a picture of two people walking in a park.  I ask "where are they walking"? They are walking in the Park.  So why isn't this accusative since it's showing movement? I know the answer is "in dem Park" and it's Dative because the correct answer is "dem".

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Die grundlegende Regel ist: 
Wohin - > gerichtete Bewegung mit Ziel - fordert Akkusativ
Wo -> Ort, an dem die Bewegung stattfindet - fordert Dativ.

Es gibt allerdings auch Ausnahmen: Z. B. zu der Schule - "zu" mit Dativ statt Akkusativ.
oZ
 

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