The German dative case is generally used for the indirect object. The indirect object is often the receiver of the direct object. Take this sentence for example:
In that sentence there are two objects, a direct one, 'bread', and the indirect one 'the poor'.
To identify which of both is the indirect object, you could simply ask yourself 'To whom or for whom is the action being done?'. In most cases the indirect object is a person, but sometimes it could be an inanimate object as well.
Unlike the accusativ case discussed in the last lesson, the dative case not only affects the ending of the words linked to the noun, but it affects the noun itself as well.
|Endings in the Dative Case|
|Definite Articles||dem Mann||der Frau||dem Kind||den Tieren|
|Indefinite Articles||einem Mann||einer Frau||einem Kind||- Tieren|
|Negative Articles||keinem Mann||keiner Frau||keinem Kind||keinen Tieren|
|Possessive Articles||meinem Mann||meiner Frau||meinem Kind||meinen Tieren|
Note that in the German dative case, an '-en' or a '-n' is added to the plural of the noun unless if that plural already ends with a '-s' or a '-n'.
All of the personal pronouns change from the nominative case to the dative case as shown in the next table:
|Dative Personal Pronouns|
|Singular Pronoun||Plural Pronoun|
|dir||you - informal||euch||you - informal|
|Ihnen||you - formal||Ihnen||you - formal|
The Dative case comes after certain verbs no matter what role the noun/pronoun plays, and even if there is no direct object in the sentence.
|antworten||to answer||gratulieren||to congratulate|
|danken||to thank||helfen||to help|
|drohen||to threaten||nutzen||to be usefel to|
|fehlen||to be missing||passen||to suit|
|folgen||to follow||schmecken||to taste|
|gehören||to belong to||verzeihen||to forgive|
|glauben||to believe||zuhören||to listen to|
Certain prepositions always take the dative case no matter their position in the sentence, and even if there will be more than one dative noun within the sentence.
|aus||from, out of|
In the dative, the interrogative pronoun 'wer' becomes 'wem', and the interrogative 'welcher' is declined according to the noun it's attached to.
|'Welcher' in the Dative Case|
Numerous German expressions often use 'es' as their subject.
They are called 'impersonal expressions' becuase they don't identify
a specific person or object as their subject.
Often these expressions require a dative object.
Here are a few example sentences in which the dative nouns/pronouns are pointed out: