Using the dative and accusative in a sentence

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Using the dative and accusative in a sentence

A sentence may contain supplementary information in both the accusative and the dative.

Sigi bringt dem Gast das Frühstück. (dem Gast = Dativ, das Frühstück = Akkusativ)

Sigi brings the guest breakfast. (the guest = dative, breakfast = accusative)

Magda sendet Anna eine Nachricht. (Anna = Dativ, eine Nachricht = Akkusativ)

Magda sends Anna a message. (Anna = dative, a message = accusative)

The position of dative and accusative objects varies:

  • Noun + noun: dative + accusative

Du kaufst deiner Tochter eine Geige. (deiner Tochter = Dativ, eine Geige = Akkusativ)

You buy your daughter a violin. (your daughter = dative, a violin = accusative)

Caroline bringt dem Kunden den Salat. (dem Kunden = Dativ, den Salat = Akkusativ)

Caroline brings the customer a salad. (the customer = dative, the salad = accusative)

  • Pronoun + pronoun: dative + accusative

Du kaufst ihr eine Geige. Du kaufst ihr diese. (ihr = Dativ, diese = Akkusativ)Demonstrativpronomen

You buy her a violin. → You buy her this. (her = dative, this = accusative)

Ich schenke euch unser Auto. Ich schenke euch unseres. (euch = Dativ, unseres = Akkusativ)Possessivpronomen Nominativ

I give you our car. → I give you ours. (you = dative, ours = accusative)

  • Personal pronoun + personal pronoun: accusative + dative

Du kaufst deiner Tochter eine Geige. Du kaufst sie ihr. (sie / eine Geige = Akkusativ, ihr / deiner Tochter = Dativ)

You buy your daughter a violin. → You buy it for her. (it / a violin = accusative, her / your daughter = dative)

Caroline bringt dem Kunden den Salat. Caroline bringt ihn ihm. (ihn / den Salat = Akkusativ, ihm / dem Kunden = Dativ)

Caroline brings the customer the salad. → Caroline brings it to him. (it / the salad = accusative, him / the customer = dative)

Note: if there is a pronoun + a noun, the pronoun always comes first.

Sigi bringt dem Gast das Frühstück. Sigi bringt ihm das Frühstück. Sigi bringt es dem Gast.

Sigi brings the guest the breakfast. → Sigi brings him the breakfast. → Sigi brings it to the guest.

Magda sendet Anna eine Nachricht. Magda sendet ihr eine Nachricht. Magda sendet sie Anna.

Magda sends Anna a message. → Magda sends her a message. → Magda sends it to Anna.


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