Grammar Lesson 1:

The dative case

The dative is used for the indirect object of a sentence.  The accusative on the other hand is used for the direct object of sentence.


Ich gebe dem Mann ein Buch. (I give the man a book.)  (if masculine use "dem")
Ich gebe der Frau ein Buch. (I give the woman a book.)  (if feminine use "der")
Ich gebe dem Baby ein Buch. (I give the baby a book.)   (if neuter use "dem")
Ich gebe den Frauen ein Buch. (I give the women a book.)  (if plural use "den")
Ich gebe den Männern ein Buch. (I give the men a book.)  (if plural use "den")

Ich helfe dem Mann. (I help the man.)  (if masculine use "dem")
Ich helfe der Frau. (I help the woman.)  (if feminine use "der")
Ich helfe dem Baby. (I help the baby.)  (if neuter use "dem")

Ich gehorche dem Chef. (I obey the male boss.)  (if masculine use "dem")
Ich gehorche der Chefin. (I obey the female boss.) (if feminine use "der")
Ich gehorche den Frauen. (I obey the women.)  (if plural use "den")
Ich gehorche den Männern. (I obey the men.)  (if plural use "den")

Often the dative addresses a person, who is part of an event. The person is often the recipient of something.

Verbs often used in dative cases: vertrauen (to trust), gehorchen (to obey), gefallen (to like), folgen (to follow), glauben (to believe), helfen (to help), gehören (to belong)

Overview of the dative case declension:

  Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Dative dem der dem den

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