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German accusitiv

I have studied German formally and it went ok at best. My teacher could never fully explain to me what makes something accusitiv, also genativ (spelling might be way off, it has been two years since i took a formal german class). A explanation would be great, because I know the vocabulary well, but the sentence structure of German is difficult for me. Any help would be wonderful

March 17, 2013



Nominative is equivalent to the English subjective, the thing that that sentence essentially is caused by.

ex. I give my dad a dog.

the subject is me, which is expressed in this sentence as I .

Accusative is equivalent to objective case in English, which is the thing that has something done to it.

ex. I gave my father a dog .

in this case, i am directly affecting the dog, by giving it, so it is objective, or would be accusative in German.

Dative is a little harder for an English speaker to get, as in English we merged dative and accusative, but the difference is simple once you get the hang of it. Accusative deals with direct objects, Dative deals with indirect objects, so like, things that you do things for, or do things with.

ex. I give my father a dog.

in this case, i am giving my father something, he is not being directly affected, but he is being indirectly affected, so this is dative.

and now for the finale, the German sentence would read

Ich schenke meinem Vater einen Hund

Ich, is in the nominative case, as it is the subject. Meinem Vater, is in the Dative case, as he is indirectly affected. Einen Hund, is in the accusative case, as the dog is directly affected.


This is wonderfully helpful because for some reason my teacher never got deep enough to where it was mentioned how often they are used in the same sentence. All our work was like, this is dativ, or this is accusitiv so I got very little practice putting them together to form a sentence. Thank you for this, because now I understand what is what, but it still is going to take quite a bit of practice for me to really understand what is happening. Like I said, I am great with the vocabulary, but somewhere along the way I got lost with the grammatical aspect of the language. I really like the sentence you gave me as an example too, it was very clear. I wish I could have got this kind of individual attention at uni.


also I saw your profile links to the subreddit for this website, if you are a mod that is very cool. Ive been on reddit for over 3 years now.


I'm moving this discussion thread to the German discussion :)

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