https://www.duolingo.com/um6661138

hi. can someone please explain when to use 'mich' and 'mir' respectively? thanks. : )

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hi. can someone please explain when to use 'mich' and 'mir' respectively? thanks. : )

May 22, 2018

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ofred19
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Simple:
You use mich for accusatives and mir for datives


More complicated:
In German, much like English, you have to change words to indicate what purpose they are serving in the sentence. For example:

I see the dog | The dog sees me

Notice how when you flip the subject and the object in this sentence, "I" changes to "me" to indicate that it is now acting as the direct object in the sentence. This process by which a noun changes its form to indicate its function in the sentence is called declension, and the various forms into which the word can change are called cases. English only have 3 cases, and they solely exist for pronouns:

Nominative: I | thou | he/she/it | we | ye | they | who
Oblique: me | thee | him/her/it | us | you | them | whom
Genitive: mine | thine | his/hers/its | ours | yours | theirs | whose

German also has a Case system, but theirs is a bit more robust. Firstly, rather than 3, German has 4 cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive. Additionally, German declines not only its pronouns, but also its articles, and, moreover, adjectives change their endings to reflect not only gender, but case as well. Below I've included a chart showing the various forms for the pronouns and the articles. The adjectival endings are a whole other Pandora's box that you're probably not ready to open just yet, and I don't want to bury you in a half-dozen more charts.

Nominative: ich | du | er/sie/es | wir | ihr | sie | wer
Accusative: mich | dich | ihn/sie/es | uns | euch | sie | wen
Dative: mir | dir | ihm/ihr/ihm | uns | euch | ihnen | wem
Genitive: meiner | deiner | seiner/ihrer/seiner | unser | euer | ihrer | wessen

N: der | die | das | die
A: den | die | das | die
D: dem | der | dem | den
G: des | der | des | der


How to use the Accusative and Dative Cases

You use accusative case for:

1) Indicating the direct object in a sentence:
Er sieht mich | He sees me
Ich brauche einen Mantel | I need a coat
Ich werde dich anrufen | I'll call you

2) Use in the following prepositions which solely take an accusative object:
durch: Ich gehe durch den Wald | I'm going through the woods
für: Ich habe ein Geschenk für ihn | I have a present for him
gegen: Jetzt ist es nur du gegen mich | Now it's just you against me
ohne: Er geht zum Fest ohne uns | He's going to the party without us
um: Er hat um einen Freund gefragt | He asked about a friend

3) Use in the following spatial prepositions in which you wish to indicate movement/change of location occurring (i.e. these prepositions can take either the accusative or the dative; accusative is used to indicate movement/change of location, while dative is used to indicate lack of movement/change of location. For an easy way to picture it, consider the difference between: "he gets in line" and "he's standing in line". The former would be accusative, and the latter would be dative):
an: Ich hänge das Bild an die Wand | I'm hanging the picture on the wall
auf: Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch | I put the book on the table
hinter: Der Hund rennt hinter mich | The dog runs behind me
in: Ich gehe ins Kino (ins = in + das) | I go into the cinema
neben: Sie bauten das Hotel neben den Baum | They're building the hotel next to the tree
über: Sie springen über den Zaun | They jump over the fence
unter: Der Apfel ist unter den Tisch gerollt | The apple rolled under the table
vor: Du kannst das Schachtel vor die Tür setzen | You can put the box in front of the door
zwischen: Ich hänge das Bild zwischen die Fenster | I hang the picture between the windows


You use dative for:

1) Indicating the indirect object in a sentence:
Ich gebe dem Kind den Ball | I give the ball to the child
Ich habe ihnen eine Nachricht hinterlassen | I left a note for them

2) Certain impersonal expressions which use "es" as the nominative subject:
Es geht mir gut | It's going well for me
Es gefällt ihnen | It's pleasing to them

2) Certain verbs which take a dative object instead of an accusative:
folgen: Wir werden ihm folgen | We'll follow him
danken: Ich danke dir | I thank you
zuhören: Ich höre dem Präsidenten zu | I listen to the president

3) Certain prepositions which solely take a dative object (not a comprehensive list):
aus: Ich komme aus der Schweiz | I come from Switzerland
außer: Er war niemand da außer meinem Bruder | There was nobody there except my brother
bei: Ich arbeitet bei einer großen Firma | I work for a big company
mit: Sie reist mit uns | She is travelling with us
nach: Der Donner kommt nach dem Blitz | The thunder comes after the lightning
seit: Sie wohnen seit zehn Jahren in Australien | They've lived in Australia for ten years
von: Sie hat von mir geträumt | She dreamt about me
zu: Du musst sofort zur Polizei gehen (zur = zu + der) | You must go to the police immediately

4) Use in the following spatial prepositions when you want to indicate that the location does not change (i.e. these prepositions can take either the accusative or the dative; accusative is used to indicate movement/change of location, dative is used to indicate lack of movement/change of location):
an: Das Bild hängt an der Wand | The picture is hanging on the wall
auf: Die Katze schläft auf mir | The cat is sleeping on me
hinter: Er versteckt sich hinter seiner Mutter | He is hiding behind his mother
in: Ich wohne in der Stadt | I live in the city
neben: Mein Haust steht neben der Kirche | My house is next to the church
Es gab eine Brücke über dem Fluss | There was a bridge over the river
Die Katze schläft unter meinem Bett | The cat is sleeping under my bed
Der Tisch steht vor mir | The table is standing in front of me
Das Essen liegt zwischen dir und mir | The food sits between you and me

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeeGOgletree
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Yes, that is very good. I don't think my school textbook did a better job. I especially liked the way that you explained the forms of "who."

I believe I'll print your explanation for myself, because I still struggle.

I am also intrigued by your use of "ye," which I have never understood well. I must look that up.

For all of this, I bestow upon ye (kidding) a lingot.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ofred19
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Ye was originally the nominative form of the 2nd person plural/formal pronoun, and you was the oblique form.

Ye see him
He sees you

Over time, English lost its distinction between singular/plural and formal/informal in the 2nd person, with the informal thou/thee/thine falling out of use altogether. Additionally, ye/you merged, with you serving as the pronoun for both cases.

Ye and you are cognates in German with ihr and euch, respectively. Ye is archaic in English now, but I included them here to highlight the declined forms in English.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeeGOgletree
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Very interesting. Thank you.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Wow! That's long but really well said! Thank you!

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/um6661138
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wow, ofred19! that is a lot for me to study. thank you for taking the time to explain the concept. unfortunately, it's too much for me to truly comprehend at this time. i am sure some in depth reading of your reply would serve me well. thanks again. : )

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Glenn-17

Here is one way to remember:

Use 'mir' when you mean 'to me', 'with me' etc. e.g. Wollen Sie es mir bringen? Wollen Sie mit mir kommen?

Use 'mich' when you mean 'me' e.g. Konnen Sie mich verstehen?

Source: (Michel Thomas)

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/um6661138
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this is helpful. thank you. : )

May 26, 2018
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