I wasn't sure if this should be isst or ist. Some people let their dogs do anything, after all.
Can someone please explain why it's the dative "dem" instead of akkusativ "den"??
Yes. There is no motion implied. The position of the dog doesn't change. If the dog would jump onto the chair, you'd use the accusative: "Der Hund springt auf den Stuhl".
In other languages it is accusative! Dative usually answers to the question "whom", and it's pretty straightforward, making it a case easy to master. In German, things are different, and that's why I think the dative is very hard to learn - it's counter intuitive! I didn't know about the "motion" - related explanation from above, but that's why we are here... to learn and perfect our skills!
I would not be able to explain the accusative case in other languages (for they have their own etymological peculiarities), but German apparently follows the latin use of cases: in this sentence, "standing on the top of" would require an ablative case, one that generaly expresses "standind on determined position". Certain prepositions in Latin (i.e.: in) can be used either with an accusative complement - expressing then movement, like 'Julius in Romam venit' [Julius arrived in Rome] - or with an ablative complement - expressing, therefore, position, like "Julius in Romä est" [Julius is in Rome]. The proximity of both languages come from their roots in Indo-European; most likely, German incorpored the ablative's function in the dative case, not on the acusative.
For me it also would be accusative but I explain it to myself this way: wo? = dative, wohin? = accusative :) But then you need equivalent words for "wo" and "wohin" in your mother tongue, which I actually have.
Some dictionaries seem to accept "stool" for a translation of "Stuhl".
Then again, "stool" can also mean "Hocker" or "Schemel" which are also seating furniture.
Yes, but neither a "Hocker" nor a "Schemel" is a "Stuhl". There is some overlap in compound nouns, though. E.g. "Der Klavierhocker/Klavierstuhl" – "the piano stool".
'chair' is a better translation. 'Hocker' is the more natural translation for 'stool'. Of course, there is some overlap.
Can someone explain the usage of "auf" here.. sorry if it was answered early.. any page links explaining the role of auf will be helpfull. Thank yoy
Can anyone make a clear distinction between "aus" and "auf". I am really confused when to use each...
I hope this question is not too stupid, but, I thought the verb to be would always trigger a nominative, but then there is this preposition, and I wonder if the preposition always dictates the case, or if there is some deeper rule i know nothing about
Yes, sein always takes a nominative. It's the preposition after it that dictates the case of the next noun. Some prepositions take accusative, some take dative, some can take either accusative or dative (see below), and some take genitive, but you can use dative for that colloquially. Learn the genitive later.
The ones that can take both depend on movement. Auf can take either. So if it's just on and couldn't be replaced by onto, it's stationary; stationary wants dative. When there is movement involved, and you could use onto or on, it takes accusative.
Here's the chart...
Some examples of whether it'll take accusative or dative...
Der Hund steht auf dem Stuhl (The dog stands on the chair) - dative, no movement - cannot say onto the chair
Ich springe auf den Tisch (I jump on(to) the table) - accusative, movement - can say onto the table
Ich schwimme in dem See (I am swimming in the lake) - dative, no movement - cannot say into and keep the same meaning. Note, while swimming is technically physical movement, you have to be going into or out of something for it to be considered so.
Ich schwimme in den See (I am swimming in(to) the lake) - accusative, movement - can say into (and should, to clarify). As you can see the different case changes the meaning. In dative it means you are just swimming in a lake. In accusative, it suggests you are not yet in a lake (maybe in a river) and you're swimming into one.
Also, as the chart says, if you could ask wohin? (where to/whither?) for that answer, it's accusative. If you could just ask wo? (where?) for that answer, it will be dative.