(A) FOR "der" AND "der words"

CASE Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
NOM der die das die
DAT dem der dem den + N added to the noun


(B) FOR "ein" AND "ein words"
CASE Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
NOM ein eine ein keine
DAT einem einer einem keinen + N added to noun


He She It We You
They You (polite) (singular and plural)
NOM ich du er sie es
wir Ihr sie Sie
DAT mir dir ihm ihr ihm uns euch ihnen Ihnen


(I) Indirect object
(II) With certain prepositions
(III) With certain verbs
(IV) to indicate place where (as opposed to place to which something is moved)

Each of these is discussed in the section below.

Part I: Indirect Objects

How to translate a complete sentence

First decided on which words go in which case.

The indirect object occurs usually when there are three nouns in the sentence: A subject, a direct object and the indirect object.

After locating the subject, there will be two nouns and or pronouns left. The one preceded by "to" or "for" is the indirect object. If neither is, reverse the order and the one that then is preceded by the "to" is the indirect object.

Example 1.

The woman gives the child a pencil.

The woman is the subject so either the child or the book must be the indirect object. Reverse the order of the two nouns and you get:

The woman gives the book to the child.

. Therefore the indirect object is the child.

Example II.

The man gives me the book.

The subject is "The man" Reversing the next two nouns/pronouns The man gives the book to me. "to me" is the indirect object.


The woman gives the child the pencil. First find the subject: Change a noun to "I" and see if the ending on the verb changes. If it does the noun changed is the subject: The woman gives the child a pencil => I give the child a pencil. Since "gives" => "give" then "The woman" is the subject. Next, find the direct and indirect object. (See above).

We can now indicate the cases of the nouns

The woman (subject) gives the child (the indirect object) the pencil (the direct object). Add the correct words: The woman: Die Frau to give: geben the child: das Kind the pencil: der Bleistift The order is now:

Die Frau geben das Kind der Bleistift. Put the nous in the proper cases: Die Frau geben DEM Kind DEN Bleistift. Get the correct agreement between the subject and verb: Die Frau GIBT dem Kind den Bleistift. The translation is now complete.

PART II: Prepositions Requiring the Dative Case

Preposition that require the dative:

aus (out)
außer (except)
bei (by)
mit (with)
nach (after)
seit (since)
von (from)
zu (to)

She came with the man

Sie ist mit DEM Mann gekommen
She came with the cat.
Sie ist mit DER Katze gekommen
She came with the child.
Sie ist mit DEM Kind gekommen

PART III: Verbs Requiring the Dative

With verbs requiring the dative case. Here are some of them:

antworten: "to answer" - er antwortet MIR (He answers me)
begegnen: "to meet" - sie begegnet DIR (She meets you)
danken: "to thank" - Ich danke IHM (I thank him)
fehlen: "to lack" or "to be missing" MIR fehlt ein Buch (I am missing a book)
folgen: "to follow" Ich folge Ihnen (I follow them)
gefallen "to please" or "to be pleasing to" Das gefällt MIR (That pleases me)
gehören: "to belong to" Das Buch gehört IHR (The book belongs to her)
glauben: "to believe" Ich glaube IHM nicht (I don't believe him)
gratulieren: "to congratulate" Der Vater gratuliert SEINER Tochter (The father congratulated his daughter)
helfen: "to help" Wer kann MIR helfen? (Who can help me?)
leidtun: "to be sorry " Es tut MIR leid. (I am sorry)
passen: "to fit" Diese Hose passt MIR nicht (These pants don't fit me.
passieren: "to happen" Was ist DIR passiert (What is happening to you)
raten: "to advise " Er rät IHR (He advises her)
schaden: "to be harmful " Rauchen schadet DER Gesundheit (Smoking is bad for health)
schmecken: "to taste " Mmmmm Das schmeckt MIR gut! (Mmmm that tastes good to me)
stehen: "to suit " Blau steht DIR gut. (Blue suits you)
wehtun: "to hurt " Es tut IHM weh (It hurts him)
zuhören: "to listen" Sie hört MIR zu. (She is listening to me)

He helps me.
Er hilft MIR

She answers you
Sie antwortet DIR

I meet him
Ich begegne IHM

The cat pleases the child.
Die Katze gefällt DEM Kind.

PART IV: Dative of Place Where

The dative is used to indicate where something is - as opposed to where it is being placed which requires the accusative case. .

Prepositions which can occur with the dative OR the accusative are: an
The boy is standing between the men.
Der Knabe steht zwischen DEN MännerN

This indicates where the boy is.

The boy walks between the men.
Der Knabe geht zwischen DIE Männer

This indicates the moved between the men.

Compare: Das Bild hängt an der Wand
The picture hangs on the wall.

Er hängt das Bild an die Wand
He hangs the picture on the wall.