1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Help; German Dative


Help; German Dative

Why is "Buy me Food" in German Dative? Kauf mir Essen?

May 16, 2018



Because the person is not buying you from the store. What he or she buys is the food. Whom the person buys the food for would be in the dative.


so is that why Schreib mir is also Dative? Sorry I'm a slow learner.


yeah, dative indicates that it's the recipient or something like a bystander of an action. (usually... prepositions will give you possibly a headache)

Ich gebe dir einen Ball. - I give to you a ball. (you receive the ball)
Ich fahre dich zur Schule.- I drive you to school. (you are the object that is moved to the school)

Ich gehe mit dir in die Schule. - I go to school with you.
Ich gehe ohne dich in die Schule. I go to school without you.
mit -> Dativ
ohne -> Akkusativ
There are prepositions that need dative, then some need accusative and there are even prepositions which can take both, depending on context and then have special rules. It's totally not random, but as you see with this with/without case it certainly does not follow the very basic rule of what a dative case is.
Just don't worry about this if it's new to you now. Only a heads up and i think it is often nice to hear something more than once and soon it will be natural to you.

[deactivated user]

    Because you are saying 'write to me', with the listener giving you a written message


    The Nominative refers to the actor of the verb --- the one doing the action.

    The Accusative refers to the object of the verb's action --- the one that is getting the impact/effect of the action.

    The Dative refers to the one much less involved in the verb's action, but takes a bit of a side-effect --- the one against whom, at whom, for whom, on whom, to whom, toward whom, under whom, with whom, (etc whom), the action gets done.

    I buy the food FOR you.
    I write the letter TO you.
    I make the pizza WITH you.
    I place the handcuffs ON you.

    Nominative Noun +
    Verb +
    the Accusative Noun +
    Preposition +
    the Dative Noun

    In English, the preposition is often omitted when it is clear (or unimportant) what it would be, and which noun is the indirect object of the verb.

    In German, the Dative Case tells you which noun is the indirect object, whether a preposition is there or not.

    Related Discussions

    Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.