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  5. "Ich folge dir."

"Ich folge dir."

Translation:I am following you.

May 11, 2013



Does anyone know if folgen is used meaning to follow in a twitter/facebook context as well?


Good, because otherwise it would be REALLY creepy xD


Yes, I know it from Twitter first when I set my Twitter language to German


why is this dir and not dich--seems like I should be using the accusative not dative form?


'Dich' is accusative - it's used for when you do something to someone. 'Dir' is dative - it's used for when you give something to someone.


I understand that, but in this sentence "you" is a direct object=accusative


Actually I just looked into it. the verb Follow, along with some other random verbs, just always happen to use the dative even though the pronoun is actually a direct object.


Although these "random" verbs may not always make a lot of sense, in some cases it's a matter of changing the word-to-word translation in your mind.

For example, "helfen" can be seen as the verb "to help", but it requires dative as well. In other words, you can think of "helfen" as the verb "to give help". The direct object would be the assistance you are providing, and the receiver of the help would be the indirect object or, in German terms, in the dative.


Similarly 'antworten' is 'to answer' but can be thought of as 'to give an answer'.

danken - To give thanks.

glauben is also dative, but I don't know how to think of that.


So basically it is an issue where the explanation gives comfort but the best practice is simply to remember which verbs are exceptional in taking the dative case. (which I gather are pretty few anyway)


These "few" words are actually quite often used in speech, though - to help, to believe, to thank, etc.


There are a couple verbs in German that do not work the same as they do in English, felgen along some other verbs in German are seen as indirect object verbs. In English we see "follow" as a direct object verb. In German they will say it more like "I follow to you." or "Ich folge dir."

Many verbs in English are dative but we drop off the "to" from the sentence. Ex: "Give" is an indirect object verb but we will still say "I'll give you it." even though it is dative and requires a "to" like "I'll give it to you."

German, thus, will require the "to" in the shape of making "du" into "dir" or "ich" into "mir" and etc for some words.


thanks and ugh ;)


Nice but not perfect explanation. In "Ich liebe dich" you give your love to someone, but still it takes an Akk case...


In portuguese-br: I help someone (akk); I love someone (akk); I give something TO someone (dat); I believe IN someone/something (dat); I think ABOUT something/someone; I thank TO someone (dat)... and so on. It works for me...


Wrong in the first one ! I help TO someone (dat). :-)


because in akkusative you use dich for describing someone or something if another person is involve the action it will become dir (dativ)


The verb folgen always takes the Dative case.


Well I think it's work like this, for following something or someone you need something to act on it (like vehicle, your feet and ... ) so that thing, which is not specified in the sentence would be our direct object and the thing we are following now is dative (in my language (Farsi) we say this sentence is incomplete (while correct) because of not specifying the direct object). So in order to find out the direct or indirect objects in German, We can use the same principle in my language. We can think if the sentence is complete or not.


in addition to tailing and following on, e.g. facebook, can folgen also be used to indicate understanding of what someone is saying?


Yes, it can. Kannst du mir folgen?


Ja, danke. Ich folge dir.


So the question needs "kannst" (not just "Folgst du mir?") to mean understanding, but "Ich folge dir" as an answer is still OK? No need to say "Ich kann dir folgen"?


"Kannst du mir folgen?" means "can you follow me?"; you are asking for a new follower. "Folgst du mir?" means "are you (already) following me?". "Ich kann dir folgen" isn't really a question, it's more of a statement, which is obvius on social networks today.

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Good resource for dative verbs http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/verbs/dative-verbs/ (and lost of other things)


I don't get why it's (dir) and not (dich)!!!! Why isn't it accusitive ? isn't (you) being followed ?? plz help



In some languages, certain verbs are considered to always require the dative case.

An example is giving thanks. Many languages consider that the subject gives thanks in general and sometimes there is also an indirect receiver of the subject's attention who is specifically mentioned in the sentence. Since that person is considered to be indirect instead of direct object, it is rendered in the dative.

To get a handle on why that could be, consider the nature of most languages. Their roots are at least centuries old. Thus the languages developed when most western societies had what we would now call a fundamentalist religious culture. In those kinds of cultures everything is considered to flow from God. If something happens that you are thankful for, it is God that you are thankful to. When discussing your thanks you might also mention the indirect path that God used to deliver your benefit to you. But because it is understood that the person you mention is only an indirect participant in God's goodness, that person is referenced in the dative case.

Every language has some verbs that carry a requirement for a specific case regardless of circumstances. Sometimes it is possible to tease out how that usage might have developed. Sometimes you can't. But the simplest thing is just to remember which ones fall into which category.

All the preceding in this comment is irrelevant for learning to speak German. All you need to know is.........Folgen takes the dative case. How to remember? Just use it a lot in the correct fashion and very soon it is automatic.


I just learned about the dative case and I'm kinda struggling and mixing up between the acc. and dat. but hopefully I'll get there. Thank you soo much! appreciate it.



Here is one way to look at it that might help.

In English we use the term indirect object but other languages use the term dative case because in their language the indirect object has a different form compared to the direct object.

Tom gave a book. = Tom (subject/nominative) gave (verb/action) book (object/accusative). The direction of the verb/action is toward the book/object. That is what makes it the object/accusative.

Tom gave a book to Tim. = Nominative/ verb/ accusative just like before but plus a location or beneficiary connected to the direction of the action. The giving of the book stops at the location Tim. The location/beneficiary Tim is a part of the direction but not the object of the direction. Tim is the indirect object/dative. The book is still the object of the action. The action+object (giving the book) continues and then stops when it reaches Tim.

Now it is true that in German some verbs require specific accusative or dative regardless of whether it fits grammatically. Additionally some prepositions require certain cases. Also some fixed phrases mix the case of nominative, genitive, dative and accusative cases in ways that don't fit the rules.

Here are some ways to keep it simple in German.

Memorize the prepositions that take the accusative case every time you see them.

Memorize the prepositions that take the dative case every time you see them

Memorize the prepositions that take the genitive case every time you see them

Memorize the prepositions that take either accusative or dative case depending on context.

It sounds impossible but it's only about thirty or so. Because there are exceptions you might make the odd mistake but it streamlines making choices about case.

If you are translating an English word into the preposition mit then the German adjective and noun/pronoun will be in the dative. It is as simple as that. If you translate the English word into durch then what follows will be in the accusative.

Here is a tune to get started with the accusative prepositions.

http://easydaf-videos.s3.amazonaws.com/Akkusativ.mp3 ....it works on my windows setup can't speak for everyone else.


Unfortunately the link from northern guy did not work on my Mac. Nonetheless, I am giving northern guy another lingot (gem) because I appreciate the time required to give such a detailed explanation and I found the comments to be very interesting. Bottom line is that German language requires memorizing which prepositions and verbs require the dative case.


Vielen Dank. I think I've got it now (I hope so). I actually am really good at the accu. case but the problem is the gender. Most of the times I forget what gender the word is and that what makes it harder. And as my teacher says there is no actual rule for the gender and you have to memorize them. Thank you again.


Hello Hajar,

I agree re. the problem with genders. What i do is, create mnemonics. Let me give you some example wrt Food 2 lesson in Duolingo.

SPOON full of DESSERT with HONEY on top; SALAD with MUSHROOM; No GARLIC and MUSTARD tempering.

If you notice all capital cases are Masculine nouns under FOOD category.

Few more examples of Masculine nouns -

TEA without SUGAR; CHEESE, CAKE and WINE; BUTTER and JAM...etc...

Examples for Feminine nouns -

CAT and MOUSE COW MILK cross the BRIDGE to reach the BANK, then take a left to reach the SCHOOL, which has a huge LIBRARY. Keep walkin down the STREET, when you see a wooden BENCH you will know that you have finally reached the farthest CORNER of this CITY.

Some mnemonics may not make sense, but their usefulness cannot be overlooked.

Please also refer the below link. I found it quite useful.



folge: dative verb


Why is "I follow you" not accepted?


I typed 'I am following you' but it did not recognize that as right


Soooooo, eine Frage, with this indirect receiver dative stuff,

the "indirect receiver" which in this case is 'you', is something in the sentence but it is not the thing you're talking about in the sentence, so thats "dative" and so I'd make it mir/dir/ etc?? Websites do explain but could someone explain it simply?


The indirect reciever of the action is somebody involved the the action but not having the action done specifically to them. I know that this sounds very confusing, so I'll give you an English example:

"The student gave the book to the teacher."

In this sentence, there are three cases. One noun is the subject (the one doing the action), another is the object (the one having the action done to it) and the last is the dative (the one receiving the action). I'll explain the first two quickly, since you probably already know what they are.

The subject is doing the action. In this case, the student is doing the action (giving the book), so he is the subject.

The object is the one having the action done to it. The book is being given, so it must be in the object case.

Finally, the dative noun is the one receiving the action. This sounds very similar to the accusative, but it is slightly different. The teacher in this case is being given a book. Since nobody is actually doing anything with the teacher (no verb is directly applied to him), he cannot be in the accusative. The teacher is therefore in the dative case.

An easy way to tell dative cases in German is to look out for connectives like mit, zu, bei, and so on.

However, the sentence we are looking at now is in the dative case because of the verb. Folgen in German is a dative verb, which basically means that the receiver of the action (which would normally be in the object case) becomes in the dative case. Why? Because German is confusing and complicated.

I hope that helped you. If you didn't understand about the dative verbs or want to know what they all are, here's a website with a very useful table. http://german.about.com/library/verbs/blverb_dativ.htm


Why is it 'Ich danke euch' but 'Ich folge dir' or 'Ich liebe dich'? Why does you change around so much in dative?


euch is plural dative for you. Dich is accusative singular you, not dative.


It's actually, Ich danke dir, as well. German has a number of verbs that simply take dative objects despite that in English we wouldnt think of them that way. Once you learn a bunch you may recognize commonalities enough to predict new ones, but it's badically just a process of memorization.

(Example: sagen, antworten, helfen, schreiben are all cases in which you say or give something TO someone.)


Gave me an "incorrect" because I capitalized " F " in following.


Gave me an "incorrect" because I capitalized " F " in following.

That is unlikely to be the case of the rejection, as Duolingo (unfortunately) ignores capitalisation.

If you would like to know the true cause, please show us a screenshot of the question and your answer so that we can see what happened -- upload it to a website somewhere such as imgur and post the URL of the image here. Thank you!


It's the dative, because ' you ' is the indirect object. Also, there are certain verbs that trigger the dative ( eg. Helfen, Gegen, folgen, etc. ). That is, verbs which indicate a receiver or ' indirect object '.

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