Verbs followed by the dative case - Easy Learning Grammar German
1 Verbs with a direct and indirect object
- Some verbs are generally used with a direct object and an indirect object. For example, in the English sentence, She gave me a book, the direct object of gave is a book and would be in the accusative case in German, and me (= to me) is the indirect object and would be in the dative case in German.
|Sie gab mir ein Buch.||She gave me a book.|
|direct object = ein Buch|
|indirect object = mir|
- In German, as in English, this type of verb is usually concerned with giving or telling someone something, or with doing something for someone else.
|Sie erzählte ihm eine Geschichte.||She told him a story.|
|direct object = eine Geschichte|
|indirect object = ihm|
- Note that the normal word order after such verbs is for the direct object to follow the indirect, EXCEPT where the direct object is a personal pronoun.
|Kaufst du mir das Buch?||Will you buy me the book?|
|Kaufst du es mir?||Will you buy it for me?|
- For more information on Direct and Indirect object pronouns, see Personal pronouns: direct object.
- Here are some of the most common examples of verbs which are used with both a direct and an indirect object:
|Sie bot ihr die Arbeitsstelle an.||She offered her the job.|
|Bringst du mir eins?||Will you bring me one?|
|Können Sie es mir beweisen?||Can you prove it to me?|
|•||fehlen||to be absent or missing|
|Mir fehlt das nötige Geld.||I don’t have enough money.|
|Gib mir das sofort!||Give me that now!|
|•||schenken||to give (as a present)|
|Ich schenke ihr einen Computer zum Geburtstag.||I’m giving her a computer for her birthday.|
|Schreib ihm mal einen Brief.||Write him a letter sometime.|
|Zeig es mir!||Show me it!|
2 Verbs with their object in the dative
- Certain verbs in German, such as helfen (meaning to help) can ONLY be followed by an object in the dative case. In many cases, their English equivalents have a direct object, and you need to learn the most common verbs which are different in this way.
- Here are some of the most common ones.
|•||begegnen||to bump into, meet|
|Er ist seinem Freund in der Stadt begegnet.||He bumped into his friend in town.|
|•||gehören||to belong to|
|Wem gehört dieses Buch?||Whose book is this?|
|Er wollte ihr nicht helfen.||He refused to help her.|
|Ich danke dir!||Thank you!|
|Rauchen schadet der Gesundheit||Smoking is bad for your health.|
|Das Essen hat ihnen gut geschmeckt.||They enjoyed the meal.|
|Ich traue dir nicht.||I don’t trust you.|
- Some German verbs are usually used with a direct AND an indirect object.
- The indirect object is ALWAYS in the dative case.
- The normal word order after such verbs is for the direct object to follow the indirect, EXCEPT where the direct object is a personal pronoun.
- Certain German verbs can only be followed by an object in the dative case.