Translation:He is the man I sold my shoes to.
Can I use a preposition to make things more explicit? zu dem? an den works better? why?
Similar to "Er ist der Mann, von dem ich meine Schuhe gekauft habe" for saying "He is the man I bought my shoes from".
"an den" works as well, both is possible:
- jemandem etwas verkaufen
- an jemanden etwas verkaufen / etwas an jemanden verkaufen
"zu dem" is not possible (why is not really possible to answer when it comes to prepositions I'm afraid).
In general, the dative is clear enough (to a German).
A bit like how you can't add a preposition to make the accusative more explicit -- Spanish has Veo a Pedro but in English can't make "I see Peter" any more explicit by saying "I see at Peter" or anything like that.
It is not the accusative (direct object shoes) that I want to make explicit. It is the relation to the indirect object (der Mann) that I want to make explicit.
He is the man that I sold my shoes to. He is the man that I sold my shoes for. Contrived, but the preposition can matter. "that" is optional in English, which I don't like to omit (as it was in the translation at the top).
Per biertopf, all four below are grammatically correct.
Per mizinamo, 1 and 2 are more natural/preferable compared to 3 and 4 ?
1)Er ist der Mann, dem ich meine Schuhe verkauft habe 2)Er ist der Mann, dem ich meine Schuhe gekauft habe
3)Er ist der Mann, an den ich meine Schuhe verkauft habe 4)Er ist der Mann, von dem ich meine Schuhe gekauft habe
1, 2, and 4 have one dative (dem) and one akkusative(meine).
3 has two akkusatives (den, meine).
The akk/dat asymmetry between 3 and 4 is arbitrary until I figure out why.
Mmm I must respectfully disagree. In English you can say something like "I looked to Peter to see how he would react," but, I agree that it is not a very commonly used way to express those thoughts.