German cases are the reason why most people dread learning the language. But, I bet that if they knew the reason for German Cases, they would be much more eager to learn the language.
I assume that you have already read my post on the dative case or that you can already identify the dative case in normal situations. If not, I’ll be right here waiting for you…
Here is a simple example:
Das Mädchen geht hinter den Tisch. – The girl walks behind the table. (Accusative)
Das Mädchen steht hinter dem Tisch. – The girl stands behind the table. (Dative)
With this the change is between accusative and dative.
Remember accusative is the case stating the object, the person or thing, affected by the action the subject carries out. The moment that there is movement involved you will use the accusative case. The dative case is the object showing the interaction between the objects.
So, if the girl stands behind the table, indicating her location, you will use the dative case. The sentence shows the location of the girl in relation to the table. Static relation? Dative case.
If the sentence shows the direction the girl is walking in, the accusative case will be used. The sentence isn’t about where the girl is, but rather where she is going.
There are many other ways cases can change the meaning of the sentence. This actually is one of the beauties of German in my eyes. In English, one needs context to know the difference but in German the words in the sentence changes, showing the change of meaning.
German is beautiful, but if this case still doesn’t prove this to you, ask me, I’ll explain some more!
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