German Accusative Case

Learn about the accusative case in German

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German Accusative Case

The accusative case corresponds to direct objects.  Here are the accusative forms of the definite and indefinite articles.  Note that only the masculine changes in this case.

 

Definite and Indefinite Articles
Masc. Fem. Neuter Plural
Definite den die das die
Indefinite einen eine ein keine

 

Some masculine nouns add an -(e)n to the accusative form, such as international nouns ending in -t (Dirigent, Komponist, Patient, Polizist, Soldat, Student, Tourist, Journalist); nouns ending in -e denoting male persons or animals (Drache, Junge, Kunde, Löwe, Neffe, Riese, Vorfahre, Zeuge); and the following nouns: Elefant, Herr, Mensch, Nachbar.  Wen (whom) is the accusative of wer (who).

Personal Pronouns - Nominative & Accusative
ich I mich me wir we uns us
du you dich you ihr you euch you
er he ihn him sie they sie them
sie she sie her Sie you Sie you
es it es it

German uses the case system to show the function of a word in a sentence, whereas English relies mainly on word order.  Take, for example, the following sentences:  Ich esse den Apfel translates into I eat the apple.  In German, you can switch the word order around without affecting the meaning.  Den Apfel esse ich is also I eat the apple, but in English, if you were to change word order, you would have to say the apple eats me.  English does not accommodate for the direct object to be placed before the subject and verb like German does. Usually, word order reflects (subjective) focus: the noun having the speakers focus is usually put as much as possible towards the beginning of a sentence.

 


 

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