I think this is why DL is so effective for me. Every time I see sentences using the Dative case, I study the sentence to figure out why and what is causing it, so that I can know when to use it in the future. From my experience using DL, and without reading other sources, I've figured out that the dative case is mostly triggered by verbs that will cause you to ask, "to whom?" In other words, dative often gives a signal to who is on the receiving end of something... In this case, your man (husband) is receiving thanks.
I hope this made sense!
I don't understand why you demand more from them, they have already given so much. And free to boot. If I'm finding something in a language particularly difficult, I just look it up on the Web. Or do as was suggested and study the sentences until you see a pattern. Languages are hard to really get, I have gone through many classes- here at least it is free and you can do it in your own time.
General rules of thumb that work in 95% of all cases:
Akkusativ - movement, direction, change of position Ich gehe in die Schule. -- I am going to school, I am changing my position - movement - Akkusativ
Dativ - location Ich esse in der Schule. -- I am eating in school, I'm already there, my position does not change -- location -- Dativ
Now I'm fully aware that this sentence here has nothing to do with location or direction, so here's the second rule of thumb:
Akkusativ - direkt object Dativ - indirect object This might be a bit difficult to grasp for English speakers because the distinction is much less present in English (in fact it's almost lost). Maybe you can work it out this way:
When an English sentence has two objects, the indirect object (IO) will usually come before the direct object (DO).
Sarah shows [IO: her parents] [DO: her new house].
I gave [IO: him] [DO: the book].
Of course it does work the other way round but then you need a preposition ('to') and it just sounds a tad less natural I dare say.
You can translate both sentences literally into German. The direct objects will take the accusative, the indirect objects the dative:
Sarah zeigt [IO/Dativ: ihren Eltern] [DO/Akkusativ: ihr neues Haus].
Ich gab [IO/Dativ: ihm] [DO/Akkusativ: das Buch].
Not sure if I actually cleared something up or just confused you, personally looking at things in a very abstract, technical way helps me understand them.
It made plenty sense to me. For me it's not really hard to understand why we use dative or accusative in most examples, the problem for me is to remember the dative declination/possessive pronoun/etc on spot. I think with practice it becomes second nature to use it right without thinking too much.
Good explanation from prestoaghitato. To expand on the direct object/indirect object:
direct object is the target of the action:
The boy throws
indirect object is the target of the target of the action:
The boy throws
the dogthe ball.
One can usually insert a preposition (to, at, in, toward, etc) to clarify/identify the indirect object:
The boy throws
for the doga stick.
But normally, just as prestoaghitato noted, the use of a preposition causes the sentence to be more naturally ordered with the
indirect object last:
The boy throws the rock
at the window.
Auf Deutsch the
indirect object is usually first--although it can be moved around for emphasis--but is still readily identifiable because it will be der Dativ:
Der Junge wirft
dem Hundden Ball.
Yeah, I understand that Duolingo was built on the premise of "no more boring diagrams", but sometimes it would be really helpful if diagrams were provided anyway. I have had to construct my own diagrams in my notes, just to keep track of the verb-, noun-, adjective- and pronoun endings...
This is info that Duo should give mobile users immediately. I only have access to the mobile version, and I didn't know for months that there WAS a desktop version with actual learning material. Duo could lead with that info. I'm sure it would help a lot of clueless people like me!
Depending on your mobile and its OS, you may be able to access the tips and notes now. If you start a lesson and see the little "light bulb" button, that's what it is.
(That's a fairly recent upgrade -- a couple of years ago when I wrote the note above, you could ONLY see those from the desktop browser -- Yay, Duo!)
Danke! Extremely useful intel that would have made my journey sooo much easier. I was afraid to touch it! I touched the "barbell" once out of curiosity and somehow lost all of my progress on that level. I am certainly not complaining about Duo. It has opened up my world in a beautiful way, and for free. It is just little more difficult to navigate, I think, for senior citizens who are completely new to foreign language, and mobile "game" apps as well.
In dative case deiner is used with feminine nouns and deinem with masculine/neuter nouns.
Examples: To whom do I thank?
- die Frau (f.) - Ich danke deiner Frau = I thank your woman.
- der Mann (m.) - Ich danke deinem Mann = I thank your man.
- das Kind (n.) - Ich danke deinem Kind = I thank your child.
Plural uses deinen in dative case...
- die Frauen (f.) - Ich danke deinen Frauen = I thank your women.
- die Männer (m.) - Ich danke deinen Männern = I thank your men.
- die Kinder (n.) - Ich danke deinen Kindern = I thank your children.
For more information, please have a look here:
Simplified: there are certain verbs which require you to use the dative case endings. Danken, helfen, glauben, gefallen are among some of them.
Since the above sentence has "danke" in it, you must use the dative ending - deinem instead of "deiner" as you may first think.
A more natural translation of 'Ich danke deinem Mann' 'I'm grateful to your husband'. The 'correct answer' 'I am thanking your husband' seems strange. It means I am in the process of thanking your husband. Is it in reply to a question: 'What are you doing?' In which case it's fine. But ... I still prefer my version, which is to express gratitude the husband for a service that he has rendered, for example.
Ummm. I still wanted to fuss about the "Mann". I mean, under this sentence it's so clear that it should be "husband" but not "man". I asked my German teacher and she said usually people wouldn't say that to mean "man", especially with a possessive "your" there. Similar case, "Freund" means boyfriend most of the time and "Freundin" means girlfriend.....
Because Ich is the actor, the one who is thanking, or more accurately: giving thanks (much as you allude to in your second question). It's a conceptual thing.
The direct object is the thanks or gratitude. That is the thing that is being given. But it's wrapped up into the verb.
And so, having an actor (Ich), and an action (the implied gebe), and something that is being acted upon or with (the "verb-ized" gratitude), the other party in the sentence, dein Mann, must be an indirect object: the one who is the target of the action with the direct object. And indirect objects are Dativ.
Because of your explanation, I am clearer about why some verbs (such as danken) always take the dative. Here's a website that explains well: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/verbs/dative-verbs/ and here's an example: Let's say the sentence were "I thank Bob". Although "thank" may be a verb today, you can imagine a time when it wasn't a verb and they instead said, "I give thanks to Bob". That form of the sentence makes it clear why Bob would be in the dative. I'd like to thank you for your help, but maybe it would be better to give thanks.
By the way, Comelli, you yourself indicated in your question that thanking someone takes the dative, even in English. That’s what whom is— the last vestigial remnant of the English dative. We say “to whom” and “for whom”. (We also use whom for direct objects, though, so it’s not a perfect correspondence one-to-one, e.g., The woman whom you met at the party is my neighbor, or That professor whom I liked so much has retired.)
As 2GreyCats notes, the objects named when using danken are Dativ. That is because the thing (object) being given is gratitude (aka "thanks"), and that would be Akkusativ. But the gratitude is implicit in danken, and thus not stated.
The objects named are the recipients (and thus indirect objects, and thus Dativ) of the gratitude.
Why is "I thank to your husband" not correct?
In English, the verb "to thank" is transitive--it needs a direct object, which in this challenge is "your husband". There's no need for the preposition "to".
You may be confusing this with an alternative way of expressing the same idea: "I give thanks to your husband." But in this alternative, "give" is the [transitive] verb and "thank
s" is a noun, the direct object, with "your husband" becoming the indirect object. Depending on the structure of the sentence, the indirect object may require a preposition; here it does, thus "
to your husband".
Examples of the indirect object not requiring a preposition:
- I give your husband thanks.
- The man throws the dog a ball.
(The latter could be rearranged to "The man throws a ball
to the dog." The ordering/sequence makes the difference.)
Well, neither "dinen" nor "dienem" is a word, so I would say that it's safe to assume the voice isn't even saying that.
The difference between "deinen" and "deinem" should be clear from just the grammar alone: "deinen Mann" is accusative and "deinem Mann" is dative, and the verb "danken" is an intransitive verb that takes a dative object, not an accusative object. If you can't tell the difference between the two forms just from hearing it, you should be able to deduct that since "Ich danke deinen Mann" is not grammatically correct, "Ich danke deinem Mann" is what the voice was actually saying. It's highly unlikely that Duolingo would make you listen to and type a sentence that makes no sense grammatically; that's very counterintuitive for a language-learning platform.