big, flat, rough, new, green, etc.). The accusative case can also be called the direct object case because it’s used whenever we talk about direct object. ;), Personal pronouns(i.e. Thankfully, only the declensions for masculine nouns are any different from the nominative case, so that’s a breeze! Fortunately, there are some pretty straightforward rules to what the accusative case is and how and when to use it. Why is it important to be able to identify the direct object of a sentence? Look at this accusative case snippet of my all-in-one declensions chart. You might find it really helpful to think of sentences as having ‘slots’ that we either have to (or optionally may) fill in: If that resonates with you, then think of it like this: in any sentence, we have to fill up the ‘subject slot’ (nominative) first. Prepositions are always at the start of what are called prepositional phrases. We have a determiner (den) and an adjective (großen). In German, when we put a noun into the accusative ‘slot’ in our sentence, the determiner and/or adjective(s) will take declensions, such as all these instances of -en: In order to put a noun (e.g. It’s also confusing because it’s used so differently from English. AnfangMai musste ich ins Krankenhaus (At the beginning at May, I had to go to the hospital). Objective case? Ende Juli musste ich aber meinen Mann ins Krankenhaus bringen! Working with the neuter accusative is one of just three instances that this distinction between der-words and ein-words matters — all the rest of the time, determiners are just determiners. NERD ALERT: Remember that the same present tense in German is used where in English we have three options, e.g. In other words, when it's the thing being affected (or "verbed") in the sentence. German Accusative Prepositions. And now special rules apply! the various forms of 'the'). We actually have two types of declensions: strong & weak. Memorize all prepositions according to their groups: accusative, dative, or two-way. in conjunction with particular adjectives, prepositions, adverbial phrases; to indicate measurement, value, distance, duration, or movement; measurements, distances, time, and other values. The next slot is then the verb — what the subject is doing. And only 5 accusative ones. Determiners are little words (a, the, some, many, all, every, etc.) Then, the following adjectives (if present) scoot over into the very next category, which, in this instance, is the . Our standard is that an ‘e’ gets added in front of every declension that isn’t an -e already. Note that übers is a contraction of über + das (neuter accusative). Gegen Monatsende muss ich einen neuen Job finden! Auf should NOT be translated as ‘for’, but it is the correct preposition in this idiomatic situation). We don’t have an English equivalent for distinction that German makes, so it’s a topic that deserves extra attention. Furthermore, declensions change based on: Yikes! Instead of Baum (singular), we’re now talking about Bäume (plural). (She’s teaching me my first foreign language). . So, the money in this example is in the accusative case — the ‘direct object slot’ in our sentence that we fill up after we’ve filled up the ‘subject slot’ (nominative). Little markers that I call ‘grammar flags’ (declensions) would be put on the the tall tree to signal when the tree is the subject, or direct object, or indirect object. Again, in English, who is doing what to whom is indicated simply by the word order. Remember that this declension pattern is relevant in the accusative case only as concerns neuter nouns! When the position of a person or object is emphasized the dative case is used instead: auf DEMTisch (on the table), as in Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch (The book is lying on the table). Das Konzert ist den Eintrittspreis leider nicht wert. ), On top of that, you’re introduced to the dative case, which possibly sparked only more confusion. In English, we can sometimes split hairs and talk about accusative vs. dative. Specific Time Examples: jeden Tag, nächste Woche, letztes Jahr, kommenden Donnerstag, einen Augenblick, Anfang, Mitte, Ende. REMEMBER: if the determiner is not an ein-word, it’s a der-word by default. Ich bin erst 10 Jahre alt (I’m just 10 years old). a collection of words) into the ‘accusative slot’. Example shortly! That’s right: the determiner and/or adjective(s). Learning what the German accusative case is (and how and when to use it) is essential. Even those of us who are grammar nerds can find it a bit overwhelming at times, so I know all the grammar mumbo-jumbo can get painful really fast for the rest of you. So, it is in the accusative case slot. In the following table you … 3. Correct translation: "I think that the bird hates the dog." *Note: The German preposition bis is technically an accusative preposition, but it is almost always used with a second preposition (bis zu, bis auf) in a different case, or without an article (bis April, bis Montag, bis Bonn). the various forms of 'a' / 'an' in German). But in German there is a distinction between the accusative and dative cases. Wir bleiben hier bis nächste Woche (We’re staying until next week). So, for example, we need an –en and –en in the masculine accusative and an –en for the plural accusative weak declension. But, there is a rhyme & reason to why German has a case system (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) and you are going to learn the crucial ins-and-outs of [the accusative part of] it in this article! (Please wait just a minute!). It's in the accusative case, which means the dog is the direct object in the sentence (or the thing being hated ). Do you see listed under the in the masculine? Pattern #1 is the most universally applicable (i.e. BUT we can also optionally add on a direct object: Ich schlafe (I sleep) or … Ich schlafe den Schlaf der Gerechten (I sleep the sleep of the just!). There are also lots of verbs that can function either transitively OR intransitively. What? There is NO declensional change for a feminine noun in this case. Do you see it listed under in the declensions chart? You’re now also armed with some example sentences that flesh out exactly how to use the different declensions (including our one exception case with ein-words in the neuter accusative!).
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