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  5. I ask thee for help


I ask thee for help

  1. Can you say "Heute wir sprechen uber" or do you have to say "Heute sprechen wir uber" can you not count Heute wir as one element and not send the subject to the 3rd position?

  2. Some verbs and prepositions are known as dative prepositions or dative verbs, does this mean they cannot be used with other cases at all?

  3. What case is geben or giving

  4. I just realized that viele can also get declined to turn into vielen, can someone please explain to my what types of words get changed and what ones don't? I know all verbs get conjugated, adjectives get declined, can someone please list out every type of word that gets declined and list out the types of words that NEVER change, ie. like proper names or nouns. Nouns only change based on if they're plural, does that still mean they get declined? PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!

August 5, 2019



1.) I'm afraid the first one is not correct. "Heute" determines the time, "wir" is the subject and there is no way they can be melted together to be only one element of the sentence. You'll always have to decide which of the two takes the first position in the sentence, the verb gets the second position as always and then you can drop in the other of the two elements. So it has to be one of these two versions:
Heute sprechen wir über...
Wir sprechen heute über...

2.) There are some verbs and prepositions that change their meaning depending on which case follows. For example "in dem Haus (=Dativ)" = "in the house", while "in das Haus (=Akkusativ)" = "into the house". If you read that a certain verb/preposition requires a certain case, it's best to stick to that advice.

3.) Geben is a verb that is often followed by two objects, just like in English ("give A to B"). The person that is being given something has to be in the dative. The thing that is being given has to be in the accusative.

Some examples:
Ich gebe dem Mann (Dat.) den Apfel (Akk.). (I give the man the apple.)
Er gibt dem Kind (Dat) einen Ball (Akk). (He gives the child a ball.)
Du gibst mir (Dat) die Gabel (Akk). (You give me the fork.)
Wir geben der Frau (Dat) das Geld (Akk). (We give the woman the money.)
Ihr gebt der Katze (Dat) nicht den Vogel (Akk). (You aren't giving the cat the bird.)
Er gibt den Apfel (Akk) der Frau (Dat.). (He gives the woman the apple. Since the cases already tells us which is the thing being given and what the receiver is, the positions of the two can be switched like I did in this case.)
Sie geben ihn (Akk) dem Kind (Dat). (They are giving it/him to the child. Again, the positions can be switched, and in this case they even should be switched because pronouns (in this case "ihn") go before the full objects (in this case "dem Kind".)


4.) Let's start with the types of words that change.

First off, there are verbs (e.g. gehen, trinken, fahren). These get conjugated as you already know.

Then, there are a number of word types that gets declined, which means they change according to case and based on whether they are plural or singular. These are the following word types:

  • nouns (e.g. Mann, Katze, Haus, Frage): there are several types of declinition groups and some really only change when they are in the plural or in the genitive, but others do change from case to case.
  • articles (e.g. ein, einen, eine, eines, der, die, das, den, dem): these change depending on the noun they are grouped with.
  • adjectives (e.g. groß, klein, schön, grün, beschäftigt): these can be declined, as you already pointed out, but they can also be changed into a comparative state (sticking with English examples here: big -> bigger; strong -> stronger; expensive -> more expensive) or into a superlative state (biggest, strongest, most expensive).
  • pronouns. These are the fun little words that replace or specify nouns. They come in a couple of different varieties. The most common ones are ich, du, er, sie, es, wir, ihr, sie and their declensions (check out this table. (It's also worth checking out the other pronoun types in the links on the left side)) There are also posessive pronouns (mein, dein, sein...), reflexive pronouns (mich, dich, sich, ..., mir, dir, sich...), relative pronouns (welche/r/s), interrogative pronouns (wer, wen, wem, wessen, was), and a few other types (don't worry, they'll be introduced bit by bit, not all on one big heap). The "viele" you mentioned goes into this category or into the next category.
  • numbers (e.g. eins, zwei, ...; erster, zweiter,...). The numbers as you'd count them don't get changed, but erste/r/s (first), zweite/r/s (second), dritte/r/s (third) etc. do, as do some of the other words used to specify amounts.

That's it with the word types that get changed. Which (obviously) leaves us with the ones that don't get changed:

  • adverbs (e.g. heute, morgen, hier, da, oben, unten). These are all the little words that tell that specify when, where, how and why things are happening.
  • prepositions (in, auf, über, unter, hinter, entlang). Some of them might melt together with articles (in + das = ins, zu + dem = zum), but aside from that they don't change.
  • conjunctions (e.g. und, dass, weil, aber). These little words link other words or parts of sentences together to make more complex sentences.
  • interjections (e.g. au!, oh!, huch!). Basically, these are the fun little sounds that people make when they get hurt, surpised, disgusted...

And that's the end of this "little" list. I hope it wasn't entirely too overwhelming.


Adverbs change for the comparative and superlative variants..... just saying ;-)


Oh, and since you mentioned proper names (which I somehow missed last night), those do change like nouns do, at least in a few cases.

I'm not sure if you have reached the genitive case yet (it basically describes ownership or something belonging to someone), but names do change in the genitive: Martin -> Martins. It's pretty similar to the English version actually ("Martin's dog" vs. "Martins Hund"), you just don't use an apostophe in German (and yes, this (along with pronouns) is one of the few places where you can see that the English language once also used to have cases).

There are also dialects in which names take articles like normal nouns do, which then in turn change according to the case. Where standard German would say "ich gebe Anton das Buch", some dialects would say "ich gebe dem Anton das Buch". It's not something you need to bother learning, I just thought I'd mention it as another example of names essentially also being nouns, even though they don't change as much in the declensions as they do in some other languages (if you for some reason can't get enough of cases, try Finnish when it goes into beta. It has a lot of cases, and names do the full declension as well XD ).

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