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The Dative Case

I heard that the dative case deals with indirect receivers, but I'm still confused on the actual meaning of the dative case. For example, in "(noun A) (present tense verb) (article) (noun B) (article) (noun C)", would noun B be the dative?

June 27, 2017



"(noun A) (present tense verb) (article) (noun B) (article) (noun C)".

No, not always. Often they are interchangable.

Ich gebe dem Jungen den Ball.

Ich gebe den Ball dem Jungen.

IF the Akkusative comes with an undefined article, then its always behind the dative.

IF theres a pronoun instead article+noun then this always comes in position of "Article+nounB" (of your example).

IF theres two pronouns Akkusative is always infront of Dative

Also rarely you can see an exception with just one pronoun. If you want to do a special emphasis then you can put a pronoun at the end. I hope these were all rules.


If you don't want to get bogged down with grammar here's a few uses. 1.) I'm giving something to someone. ich gebe dir den Ball. 2.) adjectives. you don't say ich bin Kalt (that means i'm a cold hearted villian lol) you say mir ist kalt. In English that'd be "to me it is cold" In German you say how the "state/mood" affects you. So if you say ich bin langweilig that means you're a boring person haha, so mir ist langweilig (to me it is boring) is how you say I am bored.

3.) verbs. Some verbs are dative verbs so anything after them is dative case. example "glauben" so ich glaube dir. Glaubst du mir oder? etc. notice its not ich glaube dich thats wrong.

Those are the main ones I think... or at least the ones I use dative for the most in a conversation..oh and don't forget all those dative prepositions.


I'd like to be able to help you, but I don't really understand your question. Sorry.

Are you asking about the uses of the dative case or are you asking about word order?


Sorry about that. I meant the uses of the dative case.


There are four uses of the dative: the indirect object (the beneficiary of the action), the direct object for certain verbs (you have to memorize these), after prepositions that always take the dative (more memorizing), after 2-way prepositions (more memorizing) when there is no change in state or position relative to the noun.


I'd like to add that as a rule of thumb, the indirect object is often used where the preposition 'to' is implied, e.g. "I give [to] you a ball"/"I give a ball to you".


There are more uses of the dative, but they are more complex and not that often (and maybe easier to understand than to create). There are some free datives.

Just as an example. Mir ist das zu gefährlich. That is to dangerous for me. In english we have for me, in german you can use für + akkusative or just a plain dative. (and that dative is a free dative, to be more precise a dativus judicantis).


When I first started German, I was quite confused and didn't quite understand cases. Seeing that your Avatar has what looks like the "M" from Michigan, a suggestion I have is to see if your local library has "The Everything Learning German Book" by Edward Swick. It is a wonderful resource for explaining cases and giving many examples in a step-by-step manner. Best wishes! :)

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