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German Preposition Cases, Part II

This week we're going to continue to go through cases used with German prepositions. If you are an advanced German speaker, this will be nothing new for you, but will hopefully be helpful for beginners as a learning tool and for intermediate German speakers as a refresher. Nouns, pronouns, and adjectives that are modified by prepositions take either the accusative, dative, or genitive case, but to make things slightly confusing, some prepositions require either the accusative or dative case, depending upon the context. In Part II today, let's examine the prepositions that always require the dative case for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. 

 

Let's start out by taking a look at the dative case for nouns as follows for the definite article "the," with the nominative case followed by the dative case: 

 

der => dem
die => der
das => dem

 

And for the indefinite article

 

ein (masculine) => einem
eine => einer
ein (neuter) => einem

 

And for the singular and plural personal pronouns "I," "you," "he," "she," , "it," "we," and "they":

 

ich => mir
du => dir
Sie
(formal "you") => Ihnen
er 
=> ihm
sie 
=> ihr
es
=> ihm
ihr => euch

wir => uns
sie
=> ihnen
Sie (formal "you" plural) => Ihnen

 

Remember too that if there is no definite or indefinite article, the adjective must still take the case appropriate for its gender with the preposition.

 

The common German prepositions that require the dative case of nouns and pronouns are aus, außer, bei, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, and zu. Here are some examples from Yabla German. The article in the feminine noun die Mode becomes der in the dative case.

 

Die gute alte Kaffeemaschine ist dabei etwas aus der Mode geraten.

The good old coffee machine has to some extent gone out of style in the process.

Caption 12, Eva zeigt uns wie man Kaffee kocht

 Play Caption

 

 

Here, the nominative pronoun ich becomes mir in the dative case:

 

In diesem Haus wohnen außer mir noch mehrere Familien in Mietwohnungen.

In this house live, other than me, several other families in rental apartments.

Captions 5-6, Zu Besuch bei Jenny Am Hauseingang

 Play Caption

 

 

Here, the indefinite feminine article eine (for die Flasche) becomes einer in the dative case, and the neuter ein (for das Glas) becomes the dative einem:

 

Ob es sich bei einer Flasche oder einem Glas um eine Mehrweg- oder Pfandflasche handelt...

With a bottle or a jar, whether it happens to be returnable or a bottle with a deposit...

Caption 48, Eva erklärt Mülltrennung

 Play Caption

 

 

The dative preposition gegenüber is a bit unusual, in that when it is used on its own, it falls after the item it modifies:

 

Dem Clubhaus gegenüber liegt ein feiner Sandstrand.

Across from the clubhouse lies a fine sandy beach.

Caption 31, Golf in Wien

 Play Caption

 

 

You can see this above in the correct word order dem Clubhaus gegenüber (not gegenüber dem Clubhaus!). If you wanted to place gegenüber before das Clubhaus, however, you must add the dative preposition von to the mix. So it would also be acceptable to formulate the sentence above as Gegenüber von dem Clubhaus liegt ein feiner Sandstrand. This would be translated exactly the same into English.

 

Here, the nominative pronoun ihr becomes euch in the dative case:

 

Jasmin und ich werden heute mit euch üben,

Jasmin and I will practice with you today

Caption 2, Diane erklärt Fragewörter

 Play Caption

 

 

And here, the masculine indefinite article ein (for der Monat) becomes the dative einem:

 

Erst nach einem Monat bleibt das Küken fast den ganzen Tag alleine.

Only after a month, the chick stays alone almost all day.

Caption 30, Alpenseen Kühle Schönheiten

 Play Caption

 

 

The feminine definite article die (for die Römerzeit) becomes the dative der:

 

... seit der Römerzeit ein befestigter Alpenübergang

... since Roman times a fortified Alpine crossing

Caption 23, Die letzten Paradiese Die Schönheit der Alpen 2

 Play Caption

 

 

With the preposition von, the nominative pronoun er becomes the dative pronoun ihm:

 

Es ist genau das, was seine Anhänger von ihm hören wollen.

It is exactly what his supporters want to hear from him.

Caption 25, Tagesschau Amtseinführung von Donald Trump 

 Play Caption

 

 

And finishing up our A to Z of dative pronouns, the nominative pronoun du becomes dir in the dative:

 

Sorry, das läuft auf meinem alten Laptop nicht. Da müssen wir zu dir.

Sorry, this doesn't run on my old laptop. We'll have to go to your place.

Caption 35, Die Pfefferkörner Gerüchteküche

 Play Caption

 

 

Further Learning
To recap, the common German prepositions that require the dative case of nouns and pronouns are aus, außer, bei, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, and zu. Go to Yabla German to look for more examples of prepositions whose nouns, pronouns, and adjectives take only the dative case. Also review Part I in this series about prepositions that require the accusative case.

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