• German grammar
    0%
  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)Free
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)Free
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)Free
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)Free
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)Free
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • Form the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • 12.1 Present tense (Präsens) in German [0/4]
  • 12.2 Simple past tense (Präteritum) in German [0/4]
  • 12.3 Present perfect (Perfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.4 Past perfect tense (Plusquamperfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.5 German future I [0/4]
  • 12.6 German Future II [0/3]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • What are the 4 cases in German? 

    In German nominal groups (articles, adjectives or nouns) are declined corresponding to their case. That means they have different endings according to their function in the sentence. In German there are 4 declension cases. 

    1. Nominative
    2. Genitive
    3. Dative
    4. Accusative

    To identify the case of a noun, there are certain questions to ask for a specific case. 

    Table of declension of the four cases in German

    This table shows you the declension of different nouns split up into the cases, the gender and number.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    Nominative der / ein Mann  die / eine Frau das / ein Kind  die Leute 
    Accusative den / einen Mann  die / eine Frau das / ein Kind

    die Leute 

    Dative dem / einem Mann  der / einer Frau dem / einem Kind 

    den Leuten 

    Genitive

    des / eines Mannes 

    der / einer Frau

    des / eines Kindes 

    der Leute 

     

    Translation

    • der Mann - man
    • die Frau - woman
    • das Kind - child
    • die Leute - people

    enlightenedRemember: there is no indefinite article in plural in German.

    Study this lesson together with a teacher

    Studying on your own is not effective since nobody guides you and you do not receive any feedback. Ask help from one of our professional teachers!

    Get a free trial lesson!
    View teachers

    Table of declension of personal pronouns according to the case

    This table shows you the personal pronouns changing in the different cases.

      Nominative Dative Accusative
    First person singular ich - I mir - me mich - me 
    Second person singular du - you (informal) dir - you dich - you
    Third person singular er/sie/es - he/she/it ihm/ihr/ihm - him/her/it ihn/sie/es - him/her/it
    First person plural wir - we uns - us uns - us
    Second person plural ihr - you euch - you  euch - you
    Third person plural sie/Sie - they/ you (formal) ihnen / Ihnen - them sie/Sie - them

    Nominative case (1. Fall)

    The nominative is always the subject of a sentence. It answers the questions

    Wer oder was? - Who or what?

    Table of declension of the nominative 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 nominative case.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    With a definite article der Vater die Mutter das Kind die Leute
    With an indefinite article ein Vater eine Mutter ein Kind Leute
    With a definite article + adjective der gute Vater die schöne Mutter das lustige Kind die vielen Leute
    With an indefinite article + adjective ein guter Vater eine schöne Mutter ein lustiges Kind viele Leute

    Translation:

    • der gute Vater - good father
    • die schöne Mutter - beautiful mother
    • das lustige Kind - funny child
    • die vielen Leute - many people

    enlightenedRemember: there is no indefinite article in German plural.

    How to use the nominative case in Germa?

    1. As the subject of the verb

    Examples: 

    • Der Junge liest ein Buch. - The boy reads a book.
    • Die Katze ist weiß. - The cat is white.
    • Die Stadt ist bekannt. - The city is known.

    2. As a predicate nominative

    A predicative nominative is a noun that is equated with the subject of the sentence or clause. It follows a linking verb and refers back to it. 

    Here are some linking verbs:

    • sein - to be
    • werden - to become
    • heißen - to be called
    • bleiben - to remain/ to stay
    • scheinen - to seem/ to appear
    • aussehen - to look like

    Examples: 

    • Mein Bruder möchte Arzt werden. - My brother want to become a doctor.
    • Dr. Müller bleibt unser Zahnarzt. - Mr. Müller remains our dentist.
    • Es scheint ein Hund zu sein. - It seems to be a dog.

    3. As a noun of a direct address

    You have to use the nominative case in phrases where you use the imperative or you directly address someone.

    Examples:

    • Guten Tag, mein Freund. - Good day, my friend.
    • Sei still, Markus! - Be quite, Markus!

    Where to place a nominative in a sentence?

    Usually the nominative, being the subject, occupies the first place in a sentence and the it is followed by the verb. However, it often happens that the sentence starts with an adverb or another element. In this case, since the verb always occupies the second place, the nominative (subject) comes after the verb (in third place).

    Examples:

    • Tom singt ein Lied. - Tom sings a song.
    • Nach der Arbeit gehe ich im Park laufen. - After work I am going for a run in the park.

    Genitive case (2. Fall)

    The genitive is a complement of a noun, that means it completes the noun to which it refers to. It answers the question

    Wessen? - whose / of what?

    Table of delcension of the the genitive 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 genitive case.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    With a definite article des Mannes der Frau des Kindes der Leute
    With an indefinite article eines Mannes einer Frau eines Kindes Leute
    With a definite article + adjective des guten Mannes der schönen Frau des lustigen Kindes der vielen Leute
    With an indefinite article + adjective eines guten Mannes einer schönen Frau eines lustigen Kindes vieler Leute

    How to use the genitive case in German?

    1. To show possession of relationships between two nouns

    The genitive is used to express possession or a relationship between people and/or objects. In English it is translated with the preposition of or

    Examples:

    • das Spielzeug des Kindes - the toy of the child.
    • das Buch des Schülers - the book of the student

    2. With expressions of indefinite time

    The genitive can also be used as an adverb to give indications about an indefinite duration or period. In English it is expressed by for instance: one day, some day.

    Examples: 

    • Eines Tages werden sie heiraten. - One day they will marry.
    • Eines Morgens wurde ich von meiner Mutter geweckt. - One morning I was awakened by my mother.

    enlightenedThe female noun die Nacht behaves in this case as a masculine or a neutral noun.

    3. With prepositions

    The genitive case used with certain prepositions. You can find them in this list.

    • während - during 
    • trotz - despite
    • statt/anstatt - instead
    • wegen - because of
    • infolge - as a result of
    • dank - due to/thanks to
    • außerhalb, innerhalb, oberhalb, unterhalb outside, inside, above, below
    • um ... willen - for the sake of
    • diesseits, jenseits - on this side of, on the other side of

    Examples:

    • Während meines Aufenthalts in Hamburg habe ich viele Leute kennengelernt.During my stay in Hamburg, I met many people. 
    • Dank deiner Bemühungen hast du das Ziel erreicht. - Thanks to your efforts, you have reached the goal.
    • Wegen des Gewitters kann man nicht Fußball spielen. - Because of the storm, you can not play football.


    4. With genitive verbs

    There are some verbs that are in need of the genitive in German. These shows you some of them with an example. In German it sounds more formal, so that it is not used often.

    • anklagen - to be charged
    • bedürfen - to require/ to need
    • gedenken - to commemorate
    • beschuldigen - to accuse
    • sich einer Sache bedienen - to use one thing

    Examples:

    • Sie ist des Mordes angeklagt. She is charged with murder.
    • Der Anwalt beschuldigt mich der Tat. - The lawyer accuses me of the act.

    5. With genitive adjectives

    There are some adjectives that are followed by the genitive case.

    • sicher - sure
    • bewusst - aware of
    • würdig - worthy

    Examples:

    • Ich bin mir der Antwort nicht sicher. - I am not sure about the answer.

    • Er ist sich seines Fehlers bewusst. - He is aware of his fault.

    • Sie ist dieses Namens würdig. - She is worthy of this name.

    The genitive with -s (possessiv genitive)

    The genitive of proper names can also be formed with ending a -s (possessive genitive). Therefore you have to put the name in front of the noun (the possession) and add the suffix -s. In English it is nearly the same, but with an apostrophe.

    Examples.

    • Emmas Bruder - Emma's brother
    • Mozarts LiedMozart's song
    • Marios Hund Mario's dog

    The genitive with 'von'

    The genitive of proper nouns can be formed using the von preposition before the proper noun. 

    enlightenedBe careful: the genitive cases changes into a dative cases then!

    Examples:

    • der Bruder von Emma - the brother of Emma
    • das Lied von Mozart - the song of Mozart
    • der Hund von Mario - the dog of Mario

    Dative case (3. Fall)

    The dative is an indirect object in the sentence and forms the answer to the question

    Wem? - whom?

    Table of declension of the dative 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 dative case.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    With a definite article dem Mann der Frau dem Kind den Leuten
    With an indefinite article einem Mann einer Frau einem Kind Leuten
    With a definite article + adjective dem guten Mann der schönen Frau dem lustigen Kind den vielen Leuten
    With an indefinite article + adjective einem guten Mann einer schönen Frau einem lustigen Kind vielen Leuten

    How to use the dative case in German?

    1. As the indirect object of the verb

    In English the indirect object (dative) is often expressed by the preposition to and for. In addition, there are some verbs in German, that use the dative case as an indirect object of the verb and the accusative case as the direct object of the verb. 

    This list shows verbs that are frequently used with direct and indirect objects.

    • zeigen - to show
    • sagen - to say/ to tell
    • schicken - to send
    • kaufen - to buy
    • holen - to get
    • geben - to give
    • bringen - to bring/ to take

    Examples (the dative is highlighted):

    • Lukas zeigt Laura das Bild. - Lukas shows Laura the picture.
    • Meine Tochter sagt mir immer die Wahrheit. My daughter always tells me the truth.
    • Du schickst mir einen Brief. - You send me a letter.

    2. With dative verbs

    There are some German verbs that only take the dative object. They are listed here:

    • folgen - to follow
    • gehören - to belong
    • gefallen - to please
    • helfen - to help
    • danken - to thank (for)
    • antworten - to answer/ to respond

    Examples:

    • Dieses Buch gehört meiner Mutter. - This book belongs to my mother. 
    • Der Lehrer hilft den Studenten. - The teacher helps the students. 
    • Ich danke IhnenThank you (formal).

    3. With prepositions

    This table list shows preposition that usually use the dative case.

    • aus - from
    • zu - to
    • nach - after
    • mit - with
    • bei - at
    • von - from/by
    • seit - since/for
    • außer - but

    Examples:

    • Ich komme aus der TürkeiI am from turkey.
    • Von Montag bis Freitag muss Lisa zur Schule gehen. - From Monday to Friday Lisa has to go to school.
    • Nach dem Sport esse ich. After sports I eat.

    4. With verbs of location and contracted prepositions

    There are contracted prepositions (prepositions + article) that are used in the dative case and additionally expresses a position, location or a motion within a fixed location. These prepositions can answer the question wo? - in what place?/where?

    enlightenedBe careful: Verbs of movement + contracted prepositions always require the accusative case.

    Here is a list of verbs that express position, location or a motion within a fixed location. 

    • hängen - to hang
    • wohnen - to live
    • stehen - to stand
    • sitzen - to sit
    • liegen - to lie
    • stecken - to stick

    Examples for preposition + dative:

    • Die Mutter steht am (an + dem) Herd. - The mother is at the stove.
    • Wir wohnem hinterm (hinter + dem) Berg.We live behind the mountain.
    • Ich stehe im (in + dem) Garten. - I stand in the garden. 

    Accusative case (4. Fall)

    The accusative is used as the direct object in the sentence and forms the answer to the questions

    Wen oder was? who or what? 

    Table of declension of 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.

      Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
    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 lustige Kind die vielen Leute
    With an indefinite article + adjective einen guten Mann eine schöne Frau ein lustiges Kind viele Leute

    How to use the accusative case in German?

    1. As the direct Object of the verb

    All transitive verbs support the direct object and for this reason are followed by the accusative.

    Examples:

    • 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.

    2. 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?
    • Sophia isst jeden Tag Gemüse. - Sophia eats vegetable everyday.

    3. With prepositions

    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
    • widercontrary/against

    Examples:

    • 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. 

    4. 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 are some verbs of movement

    • gehen - to go
    • fahren - to drive
    • fliegen - to fly
    • sich setzen - to sit
    • (auf)stehento stand (up)
    • (sich) legen - to lay / to put
    • (sich) stellen - to put / to set
    • hängen - to hang
    • stecken - to stick / to put

    Prepositions that can be contracted:

    • in - to
    • an - to/at
    • auf - on
    • über - over
    • unter - under
    • hinter - behind
    • vor - in front of
    • neben - next to
    • zwischen - between

    Example of prepositions (some of them are contracted) and verbs of movement:

    • Ich gehe ins (in + das) Fitnessstudio. - I am going to the gym. 
    • Wir fahren ans (an + das)  Meer dieses WochenendeWe are going to the sea this weekend.
    • Wir stehen an der Bushaltestelle. - We are at the bus stop.
    • Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch. - I put the book on the table.  
    • Wir fahren über die Brücke. -  We drive over the bridge.

    5. With sentence in passive 

    In passive phrases the object complement becomes subject and the subject becomes object complement. 

    enlightenedThe accusative is used in passive forms only when it is introduced by durch. 

    Examples:

    Active Passive
    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.
    Seine Schwester isst einen Apfel. His sister eats an apple. Der Apfel wird von seiner Schwester gegessen.The apple is eaten by his sister.

     

    Next lessons

    1 Nominative case (1. Fall) in German Learn about the German nominative
    2 Genitive case (2. Fall) in German Learn about the German genitive on this page.
    3 Dative case (3. Fall) in German This page is about the usage and the building of the dative case
    4 Accusative case (4. Fall) in German Learn about the accusative case in the German language.