https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shelby-gabrielle

The German Cases

Guten Tag!

I am a student studying French and German at a university here in the US. Thus far, I am passing all of my language courses with flying colors; however, the cases in German are consistently my only downfall on exams and orals. I am afraid even with my textbook, German instructor, and an endless supply of articles on the internet, I still can't make it stick. Any more experienced German learners out there with resources and advice to give me?

Vielen Dank, meine Freunde!

April 13, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaered

Think of cases as costumes for the words. The words, like actors, play a role in each sentence; their costume has to fit the role.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knudvaneeden

Nice metaphor

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delta1212

I have a lengthy explanation of German cases that I wrote up and is floating around in various forms in different forum posts on here.

Here, this is the first one I found when I went looking. Rather than re-post here, I'll just link to the original. It's the first response: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10026077/Explanation-on-using-einen

Hope that helps somewhat

April 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HansWT

This does indeed help. I printed & wrote notes on it today. Combine it with @Chaered's ideas of costumes; actors doing the acting & being acting upon instead of the big technical words (the -atives) and we could really get somewhere! :)

April 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

Hallo! I had a break-through when I realised that certain letters are repeated throughout the paradigms.

Example I: The letter n is repeated in masculine accusative forms. Articles: einen, den. Possessives: meinen, deinen, seinen etc. Object pronoun: ihn. Adjectives: schönen, kleinen etc.

Example II: The letter r is repeated in feminine dative forms. Articles: einer, der. Possessives: meiner, deiner, seiner etc. Indirect object pronoun: ihr. This does not work on adjectives though.

Look for patterns and regularities. Here is something to help you. Viel Glück! :)

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tiger.icecream

That is fantastic! :D :D

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

These are just two examples. Study the paradigms and you will find more. :)

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HansWT

I am hoping this is not just unique to me and maybe it is common to all native language speakers attempting to learn different languages, but terminology & meaning of parts of language themselves are my continual stumbling block learning any language. Was this just not taught in school, as it is not learned natively, or was I just not paying attention (very possible)?

For example, "dative" or "accusative" or "nomative" or any of the "-atives"? They might just well be written in Chinese on a blackboard on the moon, as they just don't stick no matter what language I am [attempting feebly] to learn. Do native Spanish or German or French speakers learn this stuff, or only when you are learning a non-native language do they come up?

This would be a great Duolingo Course in itself, "Learning Languages" not just "Learning a Language".

I keep having to turn to resources outside Duo to find the "entire" lesson for each lesson section - a lesson gives 3-4 conjugations, then the next lesson skips to another word (or wastes our time - mostly in the matching with 4 of the pairs from 20 lessons prior and nothing to do with the current lesson).

Dative Pronouns is my best example, but the "W-words" are another such example that dominates "strengthening", but was only "partially" taught.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knudvaneeden

my method would be to just root learn the German case tables (e.g. by repeatedly writing them down a couple of times), e.g. just before an examination.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gerry.0

Here is a basic method. Put "who/what" before the verb and that gives you the subject =Nominative. "who/what" after the verb gives you the object = Accusative. The dative then , is what comes after the (first) object , EXTRA Information if you like. e.g. to whom do you give etc... (just my attempt).

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AwLYMM

The four cases . Die vier Fälle Der Mann gibt seinem Sohn den Regenschirm seiner Frau.............

Der Mann Nomitiv - the person doing the action. .............. seinem Sohn - to his son - dative - the receiver............... den Regenschirm - the umbrella - accusative - the object..............
seiner Frau - of his wife - genitive - possession .........

So in English: The man gives to his son the umbrella of his wife ........... The man gives his wife's umbrella to the son................

Dative is also used for in a place , and Accusative for moment, where English uses words like in and into . also on and onto ..........

Der Mann rennt in der Küche - The man runs in the kitchen dative ......... Der Mann rennt in die Küche - The man runs into the kitchen accusative.............. .

There are also dative verbs and accusative verbs as well as propositions that have to memorised.

April 14, 2017
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