Lesson 3 - Accusative Case

The German accusative case is used when the noun/pronoun is the direct object of the sentence, that is, the person or thing affected by the action or the verb.

Endings in the Accusative case

Except for the masculine gender, endings in the accusative case are exactly similar to those in the nominative case.

Endings in the Accusative case
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Definite Articles den die das die
Indefinite Articles einen eine ein -
Negative Articles keinen keine kein keine
Possessive Articles meinen meine mein meine

Personal Pronouns

Most of the personal pronouns make a change from the nominative case to the accusative case, as shown in the next table:

Accusative Personal Pronouns
Singular Pronoun Plural Pronoun
mich me uns us
dich you - informal euch you - informal
ihn/sie/es him/her/it sie they
Sie you - formal Sie you - formal

Accusative case after certain verbs

Nearly all of the German verbs that can take a direct object take the accusative, which is expected, as the accusative is the direct object of the sentence. Such verbs are called 'transitive verbs'.

Accusative case after certain prepositions

Certain prepositions always take the accusative case, no matter what position or role the noun plays in the sentence, and even if there will be more than one accusative noun within the sentence.

Accusative Prepositions
bis until
durch through
für for
gegen against
ohne without
um around, at

Interrogatives in the Accusative Case

In the accusative, the interrogative pronoun 'wer' becomes 'wen', and the interrogative 'welcher' is declined according to the noun it's attached to.

'Welcher' in the Accusative Case
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Accusative welchen welche welches welche

Examples

Here are a few example sentences in which the accusative nouns/pronouns are pointed out:

  • Ich kaufe einen Gürtel für meinen Vater - I'm buying a belt for my father
  • Er trinkt ein Bier - He's drinking a beer
  • Ich habe keinen Hunger - I'm not hungry
  • Wir sind gegen die Idee - We are against the idea