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Pronouns in dative case

This lesson contains topics:

  1. Personal pronouns in dative case
  2. Sentence structure in dative
  3. Verbs followed by dative
  4. Demonstrative pronouns in dative case
  5. Possessive pronouns in dative case
  6. Reflexive pronouns in dative case

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1. Personal pronouns in dative case

German language clearly indentifies the indirect object. In English, personal pronouns for indirect objects (dative) are same for direct objects i.e. me, you, her, him, it, us and them but in German their is further declension of prouns. Personal pronouns in dative case are:

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Nominative Accusative dative
1. Person (Singular) ich (I) mich (me) mir (me, to me)
1. Person (Plural) wir (we) uns (us) uns (us, to us)
2. Person, familiar form
(Singular)
du (you) dich (you) dir (you, to you)
2. Person, familiar form
(Plural)
ihr (you) euch (you) euch (you, to you)
2. Person, polite form
(Singular)
Sie (you) Sie (you) Ihnen (you)
2. Person, polite form
(Plural)
Sie (you) Sie (you) Ihnen (you)
3. Person (Singular) er (he)
sie (she)
es (it)
ihn (him)
sie (her)
es (it)
ihm (him, to him)
ihr (her, to her)
ihm (it, to it)
3. Person (Singular) sie (they) sie (them) ihnen (them)

2. Sentence structure in dative case

In lesson 19 (Dative case), we have already disscussed the word order of nouns in dative case. We haven't discussed the word order of pronouns in dative case. Pronouns have different word order in dative. Please see the three differenct situations:



  1. If direct and indirect objects are nouns, the indirect object precedes the direct object.
    Ich bringe dem Mann einen Kuli. (I bring the man a pen.)
  2. If one object is a noun and other is a pronoun then the pronoun precedes the noun.
    Ich bringe ihm einen Kuli. (I bring him a pen.)
    If we replace the noun "Kuli" (pen) with a pronoun:
    Ich bringe ihn dem Mann. (I bring it to the man.)
  3. When both objects are pronouns the direct object precedes the indirect object.
    Ich brigne ihn ihm. (I bring it to him.)

3. Verbs followed by dative

There are certain verbs that are followed by just dative, for example,

antworten (to answer), Sie antworten mir bitte. (Please answer me.)
danken (to thank), Ich danke dir sehr. (I am so thankful to you.)
gefallen (to like), Dein Kuli gefällt mir. (I like your pen.)
gehören (belong), Dieses Auto gehört mir.(This car belongs to me. This car is mine.)
glauben (believe), Ich glaube euch. (I believe (all of) you.)
gratulieren (to congratulate), Ich gratuliere ihnen. (I congratulate you)
helfen (to help), Ich helfe dir. (I help you.)
passen (to fit, to suite), Diese Hose passt mir. (These pants fit me. These pants suits me.)
vertrauen ( to trust), Ich vertraue dir. (I trust you.)
schmecken (to taste), Das schmeckt gut. (This tastes good.)

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4. Demonstrative pronouns in dative case

German demonstrative pronouns are same as definite articles i.e. der, die and das. However, when used as demonstrative pronouns their meanings change. Der, die and das represent "that". In dative case (indirect objective case) the masculine demonstrative pronoun "der" and neuter demonstrative pronoun "das" changes into "dem", feminine pronoun changes into "der" and plural changes into "denen". Only the plural demonstrative pronoun "denen" in dative case is different from plural definite article "den".

English German
Singular Nominative Accusative dative
that der (masculine)
die (feminine)
das (neuter)
den
die
das
dem
der
dem
Plural Nominative Accusative dative
that die die denen

For demonstrative pronouns, we can use examples from chapter 18 (Dative) that we used for definite articles.

Ich gebe dem Mann ein Buch. (I give that man a book.)

Ich gebe dem Mädchen ein Buch. (I give that girl a book.)

Ich gebe der Studentin ein Buch. (I give that (female) student a book.)

Note the plural demonstrative pronoun in dative is "denen" and not "den"
Ich gebe denen Studenten die Bücher. (I give the books to those students.)

Declension of dies

English German
Singular Nominative Accusative Dative
this dieser
diese
dieses
diesen
diese
dieses
diesem (masculine)
dieser (feminine)
diesem (neuter)
Plural Nominative Accusative Dative
these diese diese diesen

Examples

Bitte geben Sie diesen Männern die Bücher. (Please give the books to these men.)
Please note the declension of "die Männer" into "diesen Männern".

Bitte gibst du dieser Frau zwei Bücher und einen Kuli. (Please give this woman two books and a pen.)

Ich erkläre diesem Mädchen alle Geschichte. (I tell this girl all the story.)
Ja, bitte erklären Sie ihm von a bis z. (Yes, please tell her from a to z.)
Please note the pronoun "ihm" here for "das Mädchen" (girl). As "das Mädchen" is neuter noun in german so, the dative would decline to "ihm". Don't let the English translation confuse you.

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5. Possessive pronouns in dative case

  1. When a possessive comes before an indirect object (dative) that is masculine or neuter noun, ending "-em" will be added to the pronoun.
  2. When a possessive comes before an indirect object (dative) that is faminine noun, ending "-er" will be added to the pronoun.
  3. When a possessive comes before an indirect object (dative) that is plural noun, ending "-en" will be added to the pronoun.
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative
(Singular)
mein (my) | unser (our)
dein (your) | euer (your)
Ihr (your) | Ihr (your)
sein/sein/ihr (his/it/her) | ihr (their)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
mein | unser
dein | euer
Ihr | Ihr
sein/sein/ihr | ihr
Nominative
(Plural)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Accusative
(Singular)
meinen (my) | unseren (our)
deinen (your) | eueren (your)
Ihren (your) | Ihren (your)
seinen/seinen/ihren (his/it/her) | ihren (their)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
mein | unser
dein | euer
Ihr | Ihr
sein/sein/ihr | ihr
Accusative
(Plural)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Dative
(Singular)
meinem (my) | unserem (our)
deinem (your) | euerem (your)
Ihrem (your) | Ihrem (your)
seinem/seinem/ihrem (his/it/her) | ihrem (their)
meiner | unserer
deiner | euerer
Ihrer | Ihrer
seiner/seiner/ihrer | ihrer
meinem | unserem
deinem | euerem
Ihrem | Ihrem
seinem/seinem/ihrem | ihrem
Dative
(Plural)
meinen | unseren
deinen | eueren
Ihren | Ihren
seinen/seinen/ihren | ihren

Examples

Bitte geben Sie meiner Frau die Bücher. (Please give my wife the books.)

Bitte gibst du meinem Sohn zwei Bücher und einen Kuli. (Please give my son two books and a pen.)

Ich bringe heute euren Eltern ein Auto. (I bring a car to your parents today.)
"euren Eltern" means parents of yours (plural) in familier form.

Ich bringe heute deinen Eltern ein Auto. (I bring a car to your parents today.)
"deinen Eltern" means parents of yours (singular) in familier form.

Dieses Auto gehört Ihren Eltern. (This car belongs to your parents.)
"Ihren Eltern" means parents of yours (plural or singular) in polite form.

6. Reflexive pronouns

Singular Plural
Accusative
1. Person mich uns
2. Person dich euch
2. Person
Polite
sich sich
3. Person sich sich
Dative
1. Person mir uns
2. Person dir euch
2. Person
Polite
sich sich
3. Person sich sich

Examples

Ich war allein und verletzt. Ich musste mir helfen. (I was alone and hurt. I had to help myself.)
"musste" is past participle form of "muss".

Man muss sich selbst glauben. (One has to believe in oneself.)

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