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  5. Ich glaube es nicht!

Ich glaube es nicht!

[deactivated user]

    But shouldn't we use the dative form here? "Ich glaube ihm nicht"

    January 22, 2018



    It depends on what you want to say. The sentences are correct, but they mean different things.

    Ich glaube ihm nicht. = I don't believe him.

    ("ihm" is dative and refers to the person who told me something)

    Ich glaube es nicht. = I don't believe it.

    ("es" is accusative and refers to the message that I learned (and don't believe)).

    [deactivated user]

      When we mean "I don't believe it", why we say "Ich glaube es nicht"? The dative form of "es" is "ihm". As I have learned "glauben" is a dative verb


      But it should be accusative. The message told is accusative, and the messenger is dative. Perhaps this makes it clearer:

      Er erzählt mir eine Geschichte.

      Ich glaube ihm (dative, referring to "er") die Geschichte (accusative) nicht.

      As I have learned "glauben" is a dative verb

      Ah, I see. In fact (as you can see with my "die Geschichte"), "glauben" can take two objects: An accusative object and a dative object.

      In my "Geschichte" sentence, both objects are stated. But this is not necessary. You can talk only about the content (accusative) or only about the one who told it (dative).

      [deactivated user]

        Hmmm, tricky, but I think I got it. Thanks


        You're welcome! :-)


        Here is an example:

        Ich glaube die Geschichte.
        I believe that the story is true. / I believe the story's truth.

        Ich glaube der Geschichte.
        I believe that what the story tells is true. / I believe the story.

        Ich glaube an die Geschichte.
        I believe that the story's existence is true. / I believe in the story.

        This may not seem a relevant difference in the example, but it gets clearer with persons.


        Thank you Heike and Mofalt for your clear and concise explanations. This was very helpful to me.

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