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  5. When do use 'Mich' and 'Mir'?


When do use 'Mich' and 'Mir'?

This is seriously confusing me help!

January 13, 2018



Mich is used for the direct object of a sentence as well as prepositions that take the accusative case. Mir is used as an indirect object of a sentence as well as prepositions that take the dative case.


Could you give me a few examples, bitte?



You see me. Du siehst mich.

You are waiting for me. Du wartest auf mich. (here the verb "to wait for" always takes the warten auf +A form)

That is for me. Das ist für mich.

You give me a book. Du gibst mir ein Buch

With me. Mit mir.


Mir is the dative and Mich is the accusative. Although there are some exceptions. You also use the dative (mir) with the following prepositions: aus, außer, bei, mit, nach, seit, von, zu, an ... vorbei, bis zu, gegenuber. You use the accusative (mich) with the following prepositions: bis, durch, für, gegen, ohne, um, entlang.


There are also prepositions, that require Dativ or Akkusativ, depending on the questions you can for the acting verb.

Wo? (where?) => Dativ

Ich befinde mich im (=in dem) Wald. = I am in the forest.

Wohin? (where to?) => Akkusativ

Ich gehe in den Wald. = I walk into the forest.

Those prepositions are: an, auf, hinter, neben, vor, über, unter, in, zwischen

"entlang" is a bit tricky. Using it as a PREposition it requires Genitiv or Dativ.

Ich ging entlang des Weges / entlang dem Weg = I walked along the way.

Using it as a POSTposition (or adverb) it requires Akkusativ.

Ich ging den Weg entlang. = I walked along the way.


There is a general rule of thumb for using accusative and dative cases. This is one of the most difficult things for English speakers because this distinction is not drawn there. So what is this distinction?

  • Accusative case is used when an entity is used or applied or just subject to an action or state. Ich sehe ihn.

  • Dative case is used when an action applied or state has an (internal?/constitutive?) effect on an entity (such as enrichment, delectation, deprivation, ...). Ich schenke ihr ein Buch.

This is a general rule of thumb and it will hold in most cases, but there are loads of exceptions.

From English:

for me, of me, to me, ...: mir

me: mich

(pay attention to exceptions)

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