Accusative case (4. Fall) in German
- 1.What is the accusative case in German?
- 1.1.How to identify the accusative noun in a sentence
- 2.Declension of the accusative case
- 2.1.Table of declension of the article and the noun in the accusative case
- 2.2.Table of personal pronouns in the accusative case
- 3.How do you use the accusative case in German?
- 3.1.As the direct object of the verb
- 3.2.With expressions of definite time and duration of time
- 3.3.With prepositions
- 3.4.With verbs of movement and contracted prepositions
- 3.5.With sentences in passive
- 4.1.Exercise of the German accusative
- 4.2.Exercise: German accusative
What is the accusative case in German?
The accusative case is used as the direct object in the sentence and forms the answer to the questions:
Wen oder was? - who or what?
How to identify the accusative noun in a sentence
The accusative can be
- an object
- a person
- a pronoun
This table shows you some examples how to ask for the accusative case in German.
|Example||Question (Wen oder was?)||Answer|
|Ich kaufe ein Buch. - I buy a book.||Was kaufe ich? - What do I buy?||ein Buch - a book|
|Matteo trifft seine Freundin. - Matteo meets his girlfriend.||Wen trifft Matteo? - Who does Matteo meet?||seine Freundin - his girlfriend|
|Wir sehen ihn. - We see him.||Wenn sehen wir? - Who do we see?||ihn - him|
|Das Kind trinkt einen süßen Saft. - The child drinks a sweet juice.||Was trinkt das Kind? - What does the child drink?||einen süßen Saft - a sweet juice|
Declension of the accusative case
The nouns of the accusative case have a change in their endings compared to the nominative case. You can recognize the accusative by their articles and/or the adjectives prefixed, the gender and the number. Have also a look into the course of articles and adjectives.
Weak and mixed masculine nouns take the suffix -n /-en to the singular and plural accusative. This is also called the N-declension.
The substantivized verbs (the present and past participles) and adjectives take the suffix -n /-en to the singular and plural accusative because they behave like adjectives.
Table of declension of the article and the noun in the accusative case
In this table you can find several examples for the declension of noun and their articles in the different genders. In addition, there are some examples of adjectives that accompany a noun in the accusative case.
|With a definite article||den Mann||die Frau||das Kind||die Leute|
|With an indefinite article||einen Mann||eine Frau||ein Kind||Leute|
|With a definite article + adjective||den guten Mann||die schöne Frau||das junge Kind||die alten Leute|
|With an indefinite article + adjective||einen guten Mann||eine schöne Frau||ein junges Kind||alte Leute|
- den alten Mann - the old man
- die schöne Frau - the beautiful woman
- das junge Kind - the young child
- die alten Leute - the old people
Remember: there is no indefinite article in plural
Table of personal pronouns in the accusative case
In the accusative case you have to decline pronouns too. They are listed in this table.
|Type of person||Pronoun|
|First person singular||mich - me|
|Second person singular||dich - you|
|Third person singular|
ihn / sie / es - him/her/it
|First person plural||uns - us|
|Second person plural||euch - you|
|Third person plural||sie / Sie - them/you|
How do you use the accusative case in German?
The accusative case is used in several cases.
- As the direct Object of the verb
- With expressions of definite time and duration of time
- With prepositions
- With verbs of movement and contracted prepositions
- With sentence in passive
As the direct object of the verb
All transitive verbs support the direct object and for this reason are followed by the accusative.
- Martin kauft den Computer. - Martin buys the computer.
Sie trifft ihren Onkel einmal im Monat. - She meets her uncle once a month.
Ich lese ein lustiges Buch. - I read a funny book.
Morgen rufe ich dich an. - Tomorrow, I will call you.
- Ich brauche deine Hilfe. - I need your help.
With expressions of definite time and duration of time
Nominal groups that express the frequency of an activity or a time are always in the accusative case.
- Ich gehe jeden Monat ins Theater. - I go to the theater every month.
- Fliegen wir diesen Sommer nach Polen? - Are we going to fly to Poland in the summer?
- Die Reise hat eine Woche gedauert. - The trip lasted one week.
- Sophia isst jeden Tag Gemüse. - Sophia eats vegetables every day.
- Nächstes Jahr fahre ich nach Hamburg. - Next year I will go to Hamburg.
The accusative form is also used for a date. Here the article der is transformed to den.
- Köln, den 06.07.2018
There are some prepositions that always followed by the accusative case.
- bis - until
- für - for
- um - by/ for
- gegen - against
- durch - by/through
- entlang - along
- ohne - without
- wider - contrary/against
- Ich kaufe Blumen für meine Oma. - I buy flowers for my grandma.
- Ohne meinen Vater ist das Haus nicht mehr dasselbe. - Without my father, the house is no longer the same.
- Ich kämpfe gegen ihn. - I fight agains him.
- Der Zug fährt durch den Tunnel. - The train goes through the tunnel.
With verbs of movement and contracted prepositions
There are verbs that, depending on the action (whether it is static or a movement), govern the dative or the accusative case. The dative case is used when it comes to static verbs and the accusative case is used with movement.
Here is a list of verbs of movement:
- gehen - to go
- fahren - to drive
- fliegen - to fly
- sich setzen - to sit
- (auf)stehen - to stand (up)
- (sich) legen - to lay / to put
- (sich) stellen - to put / to set
- hängen - to hang
- stecken - to stick / to put
There are contracted prepostions that are used in the accusative case and also require a verb of movement. Contracted prepositions exists, when the preposition is followed by the definite article das. Let's have a look into this table of examples.
|in - to|
Der Student geht in die Schule. - The student goes to school.
Ich gehe ins (in + das) Fitnessstudio. - I am going to the gym.
|an - to/at|
Wir fahren ans (an + das) Meer dieses Wochenende. - We are going to the sea this weekend.
Wir stehen an der Bushaltestelle. - We are at the bus stop.
|auf - on|
Ich setze mich aufs (auf + das) Sofa. - I sit down on the sofa.
Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch. - I put the book on the table.
|über - over|
Wir fahren über die Brücke. - We drive over the bridge.
Ich hänge die Lampe über den Tisch. - I hang the lamp over the table.
|unter - under|
Die Katze geht unter die Couch. - The cat is under the couch.
Der Löffel ist unter den Tisch gefallen. - The spoon fell under the table.
|hinter - behind|
Das Kind rennt hinter die Tür. - The child runs behind the door.
Ich laufe hinter den Baum. - I run behind the tree.
|vor - in front of|
Ich stelle den Schreibtisch vor das Fenster. - I put the des in front of the window.
Er fährt mit dem Auto vor die Kirche. - He drives with the in front of the church.
|neben - next to|
Setz dich neben mich. - Sit next to me.
Er stellt die Flasche neben den Teller. - He puts the bottle next to the plate.
|zwischen - between|
Ich setze mich zwischen meine Mutter und meinen Bruder. - I sit down next to my mother and my brother.
Ich stelle das Regal zwischen das Fenster und das Bett - I put the shelf between the window and the bed.
With sentences in passive
In passive phrases the object complement becomes subject and the subject becomes object complement.
The accusative is used in passive forms only when it is introduced by durch.
|Active form||Passive form|
|Die Operation hat den Patienten gerettet. - The operation rescued the patient.||Der Patient wurde durch die Operation gerettet. - The patient was rescued by the operation.|
Das Gewitter hat die Wälder zerstört. - The thunderstorm destroyed the forests.
Die Wälder wurden durch das Gewitter zerstört. - The forests were destroyed by the thunderstorm.
|Seine Schwester isst einen Apfel. - His sister eats an apple.||Der Apfel wird von seiner Schwester gegessen. - The apple is eaten by his sister.|
Now you know everything about the accusative case in German. You can practice with some exercises. Good luck!
What our students say
Unlike in other platforms, all our teachers are manually verified by our professional team. Trust in the experiences of our students.
Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
Hands down one of the best teachers I've had the pleasure of working with. Very knowledgeable in all aspects of Bulgarian (grammar rules, expressions, ...) but also in both English and French, which helps whenever you have a more in-depth question on the how or why something is the way it is in Bulgarian. Furthermore he has his own material and always comes prepared, but he is equally open to changing the subject of a lesson to suit your needs. He is patient, positive and not too scholarly, which is what you need as an adult learning day- to- day Bulgarian.I have been working with him for 18 months now and still look forward to our lessons every week.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
Again a lesson full of fun anf full of learning opportunities. I really like Angels patience and ability to adapt to my learning process.
This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
I would highly recommend Tove. Her lessons are fantastic and I learn exactly what I'm interested in. Tove is very friendly, our chemistry goes well together and I really enjoy being tought by her.
Dear Anita, Thank you very much for your nice review! I enjoy our lessons very much too and I am so happy that our communication and chemistry fit well together. That's the best precondition for a good learning experience. See you soon!
We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
Daniela is a very pleasant and brisk teacher who has the talent to make you feel at ease immediately. Her lessons are a nice mix of conversation and theory. Again and again it is a nice hour to look forward to !! Thank you Daniela !!
Dear Hilde, thank you very much for your words. I'm glad you are satisfied with our time together. I will continue to do my best to make you practice your beautiful Italian in a cheerful and peaceful way :-)
It is always a pleasure to have English lessons with Corinne. The lessons are always a lot of fun and extremely interesting concerning on current affairs and unfortunately the time always ends too early. Very recommended.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
Carmen is really prepared and very very nice. She takes you by the hand and introduces you to portuguese language in a really pleasant way. I learned 3-4 sentences already on the first lesson!
Fabia is a very nice student and learns very quickly. It is a pleasure to teach her as she really likes to learn a difficult language like Portuguese and improved a lot.
It was very nice to take a lesson from Theano (Anny). She is adaptable to the student's level and is prepared to help the student as necessary. She is a friendly and caring teacher!
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
Marissa is a very professional teacher who can put the student at ease. It is precise, effective and oriented towards achieving the objectives: highly recommended.
Thanks so much Paola!!! I LOVE working with you guys and have enjoyed every moment. Even after this brief period, we can already start to see some changes. :-)
I have had many lessons with Luisa and I always look forward to them. We begin by chatting about the past week's events and them move to Espresso which I find very useful as a good review of material I have done in the past. There is often additional words used I had not met before. Luisa is always a pleasure to talk with and is a kind and pleasant teacher. She corrects me gently and offers useful words or meanings when appropriate.
Dear Martin thank you so much ! It's my pleasure taking class with you. And thanks a lot for your suggestion about Us movies ( Just Mercy) or Us books
I had my first lesson a couple of days ago and everything went super good!
Karin was attentive, transmiting her positivism and helping me with every doubt I had.
She really focus on teaching how to pronounce and talk a language, so this is really interesting for me, to practise it & be able to use it in my day by day.
I really recommend her to everyone willing to learn a new language :)
Hi Alba! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! I enjoyed our class too & I wish you the best of luck with all your future projects :-)
A prepared and kind teacher, ready to teach with patience and good humor. He provided me with very useful materials to study and review even after the lesson. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language with a smile. Thanks Silvia :)
Thank you so much for the Chiara review! It was a real pleasure to have this lesson with you. I wish you a nice trip with the German language!
The lesson with Celia was perfect! She was puntcual, kind and her teaching method is effective and funny.
She started the class with some "games" to get to know eachother and then we discussed about an article she provided. The time of the class passed really fast and I learned new vocabulary.
Thank you so much, Remark! I´m happy to know you enjoyed our lesson and I´m looking forward to having more in the near future! Cheers!
Ekaterina writes new words and sentences learnt during the lesson. She has got a very nice attitude and great accent! A pleasure to work with... yes, even in German!!!!!
Dear Silvia, thank you very much for your feedback! It's a real pleasure to have classes with you, and I hope you find them useful!