der Genitiv

Hi!!!

I’m glad to communicate that we are at the final step of our “Marathon of German Grammatical Cases” (MGGC)!!!! LOL

The genitive case in German shows possession, is used with some verb idioms and with the genitive prepositions. In English, it is expressed by the possessive “of” or an apostrophe-s (‘s). The genitive only has two forms: des/eines (masculine and neuter) or der/einer (feminine and plural).  Click here for more informations.

der Genitiv - Charlie Brown

NOTES!

  1. Some masculine nouns add an –en or –n ending in the genitive and in all other cases besides the nominative. ⇨ ,,des Architekten” (architect)
  2. Feminine and plural nouns do not add an ending in the genitive.
  3. The adjectives almost always have an –en ending. ⇨ ,,des neuen Autos” (the new car)
  4. The genitive form of most neuter and masculine nouns in German have either –es or –s ending (almost all nouns ending in sssßschz or tz must end with -es in the genitive). ⇨ ,,das Auto meines Bruders” (my brother’s car) or ,,der Titel des Filmes (Films)” (the title of the film)

The question word in the genitive is wessen (whose):

,,Wessen Buch hast du?” (Whose book do you have?)

A common error made even by native-speakers of German is to use an apostrophe in possessive forms (just like in English). For instance, they will often write “Maria’s Haus” instead of the correct form, “Marias Haus”.

GENITIVE EXPRESSIONS

The genitive is also used in some idiomatic or formulaic expressions (which are not usually translated into English with “of”).

 Idiomatic or Formulaic Expressions
Deutsch Englisch
eines Tages one day, some day
eines Nachts one night (note irreg. genitive form)
eines kelten Winters one cold winter
erster Klasse fahren to travel in first class
letzten Endes when all is said and done
meines Wissens to my knowledge
meines Erachtens in my opinion/view

GENITIVE PREPOSITIONS

Some German prepositions are governed by the genitive case.

,,Während der Woche arbeiten wir.” (During the week we work.)

,,Trotz des Wetters fahren wir heute nach Hause.” (In spite of the weather we’re driving home today.)

Genitive Prepositions
Deutsch Englisch
anstatt instead of
außerhalb outside of
innerhalb inside of
trotz despite, in spite of
während during, in the course of
wegen because of
angesichts in view of
beiderseits on both sides of
diesseits this side of
jenseits on the other side of
laut according to

NOTES!

  1. The genitive prepositions listed above are often used with the dative in spoken German, particularly in certain regions:

,,trotz dem Wetter” (in spite of the weather)

,,während der Woche” (during the week) (same as genitive)

,,wegen den Kosten ” (because of the costs)

NO GENITIVE ENDING

The genitive ending is omitted with:

  • Many foreign words:

,,des Atlas” (Atlas)

,,des Euro(s)” (the euro)

  • Most foreign geographical names:

,,des High Point” (of High Point)

,,die Berge des Himalaja(s)” (the Himalayan mountains)

  • Days of the week, months:

,,des Montag” (of monday)

,,des Mai/Maies/Maien” (of May)

,,des Januar” (of January)

  • Names with titles (ending on title only):

,,des Professors Schmidt” (of Professor Schmidt)

,,des Herrn Maier” (of Mr. Maier)

But…

,,des Doktor (Dr.) Müller” (of Doctor (Dr.) Müller) ⇨ “Dr.” is considered part of the name

USING ,,VON” INSTEAD OF THE GENITIVE

The genitive is used more in written German than in spoken form. It is usually replaced by a von-phrase (von + dative) or (particulary in Austria and southern Germany) a possessive pronoun phrase:

,,Das Auto von meinem Bruder.” (My brother‘s car.)

,,die/der Maria ihre Freunde.” (Maria‘s friends.)

The genitive is preferred in place of a von-phrase…

  • when it may have a dual or ambiguous meaning:

,,von meinem Vater” (of/from my father) ⇨ von-phrase

,,des Vaters” (of my father) ⇨ genitive

The genitive is often replaced by a von-phrase…

  • to avoid repetition:

,,der Schlüssel von der Tür des Hauses” (the key from the door of the house)

  • to avoid awkward language situations:

,,das Auto von Fritz” (rather than ,,des Fritzchens” or ,,Fritz’ Auto“) (the car of Fritz)

  • in spoken German:

,,der Bruder von Hans” (the brother of Hans)

The genitive MUST be replaced by a von-phrase with…

  • pronouns:

,,jeder von uns” (each of us)

,,ein Onkel von ihr” (an uncle of her)

  • a single noun without an article or declined adjective:

,,ein Geruch von Benzin”  (a smell of gasoline)

,,die Mutter von vier Kindern” (the mother of four children)

  • after ,,viel” or ,,wenig“:

,,viel von dem guten Bier” (much of the good beer)

Das ist alles, Leute!!! (That is all folks!!!) 😀

der Dativ

Hello everyone!!!

I’m back again with new posts and I’m very (VERY) happy about the compliments I’ve been receiving about my blog!!! Thank you very much!! >.<

We need to finish the MGGC… “Marathon of German Grammatical Cases”… (I’m just giving a name to it!) hahahha 😉

So, next step: the dative case.

The dative case is known as the indirect object. The indirect object (dative) is usually the receiver of the direct object (accusative), but some German verbs do not take an accusative object. Unlike the accusative, which only changes in the masculine gender, the dative changes in all genders and in the plural. In addition, the dative is also used after certain dative verbs and with dative prepositions. Click here for more informations.

The question word in the dative case is ,,wem” ([to] whom):

,,Wem hast du das Buch gegeben?” (Whom did you give book?)

NOTES!

  1. Some masculine nouns add an ,,-en” or ,,-n” ending in the dative and in all other cases besides the nominative ⇨ ,,dem/einem Jungen” (the/a boy).
  2.  In the dative, plural nouns add an ,,-en” or ,,-n” if the plural does not already end in ,,-n“, except for plurals ending in ,,-s” ⇨ ,,den/keinen Leuten” (the/no people).

DATIVE PREPOSITIONS

Some German prepositions are governed by the dative case. There are two kinds of dative prepositions: those that are always dative and never anything else and certain “two-way” prepositions that can be either dative or accusative (depending on how they are used).

dativ

Here is a list of the dative-only prepositions.

Dative Prepositions
Deutsch Englisch
aus from, out of
außer except for, besides
bei at, near
gegenüber across from, opposite
mit with, by
nach after, to
seit since (time), for
von by, from
zu at, to

NOTES!

  1. ,,Gegenüber” can go before or after its object.
  2.  The genitive prepositions ,,statt” (instead of), ,,trotz” (in spite of), ,,während” (during) and ,,wegen” (because of) are often used with the dative in spoken German, particularly in certain regions.

The meaning of a two-way preposition often depends on whether it is used with the dative or accusative case.

Two-Way Prepositions
Accusative/Dative
Deutsch Englisch
an at, on, to
auf at, to, on, upon
hinter behind
in in, into
neben beside, near, next to
über about, above, across, over
unter under, among
vor in front of, before; ago (time)
zwischen between

The basic rule for determining whether a two-way preposition should have an object in the accusative or dative case is motion versus location.  The following rule applies only to the so-called “two-way” or “dual” prepositions in German.

  • The accusative occurs when there is motion towards something or to a specific location (,,wohin?“, where to?).

,,Wir gehen ins Kino.“ (ins = in das) (We’re going to the movies/cinema.)

,,Legen Sie das Buch auf den Tisch.” (Put/Lay the book on the table.)

  • The dative occurs when there is no motion at all or random motion going nowhere in particular (,,wo?“, where (at)?).

,,Wir sind im Kino.“ (im = in dem) (We’re at the movies/cinema.)

,,Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch.“ (The book’s lying on the table.)

Many of these prepositions have another meaning in common everyday idioms and expressions: ,,auf dem Lande” (in the country), ,,um drei Uhr” (at three o’clock), ,,unter uns” (among us), ,,am Mittwoch” (on Wednesday), ,,vor einer Woche” (a week ago), etc. These expressions can be learned as vocabulary without worrying about the grammar involved.

Here are some other dative case examples (the dative word, preposition or expression is in red):

,,Der Polizist gibt dem Fahrer einen Strafzettel.” (The policeman is giving the driver a ticket.)

,,Mit der Bahn fahren wir.” (We’re going by train.)

,,Meiner Meinung nach ist es zu teuer.” (In my opinion it’s too expensive.)

,,Das Hotel ist dem Bahnhof gegenüber.” (The hotel is across from the train station.)

,,Er arbeitet bei einer großen Firma.” (He works at a big company.)

,,Wir verbringen eine Woche am See.” (We’re spending a week at the lake.)

,,Wir machen das mit einem Computer.” (We do that with a computer.)

That is what I’ve learned about dative case today…

Next post (Genitive case) we will finish the “MGGC”!!!

Bye! 😉

der Akkusativ

Hello!

Let’s continue talking about the German grammatical cases… It’s a little boring (I know)… I was trying to delay my studies about it…. buuuut, it is important to know… so, here we go!

Today we will learn about the accusative case (,,der Akkusativ“). The accusative case  is known as the direct object of a sentence. The direct object is the immediate recipient of an action or event. In other words, the direct object functions as the receiver of the action of a transitive verb. In German you can tell that a noun is in the accusative case by the masculine article, which changes from ,,der/ein” to ,,den/einen“. You don’t need to worry about the feminine, neuter or plural, because they don’t change in the accusative case! Click here for more informations.

You can test for a transitive verb by saying it without an object. If it sounds odd, and seems to need an object to sound right, then it is probably a transitive verb. Take a look at the following examples (Both of these phrases answer the implied question “what?”):

,,Ich habe…” (I have…) ⇨ What do you have?

,,Er kaufte…” (He bought…) ⇨ What did he buy?

On the other hand if you do this with an intransitive verb, such as “to sleep”, “to die”, or “to wait”, no direct object completion is needed, because you can’t “sleep”, “die” or “wait” something. Some verbs can be either transitive or intransitive, but the key is to remember that if you have a direct object, you’ll have the accusative case in German.

The question word in the accusative is ,,wen” (whom):

,,Wen hast du gestern gesehen?” (Whom did you see yesterday?)

ACCUSATIVE TIME EXPRESSIONS

The accusative is used in some standard time and distance expressions.

,,Das Hotel liegt einen Kilometer von hier.” (The hotel lies a kilometer from here.)

,,Er verbrachte einen Monat in Paris.” (He spent a month in Paris.)

,,Aschenputtel und der Prinz haben die ganze Nacht getanzt.” (Cinderella and the prince danced  all night.)

ACCUSATIVE PREPOSITIONS

Some German prepositions are governed by the accusative case. There are two kinds of accusative prepositions: those that are always accusative and never anything else and certain “two-way” prepositions that can be either accusative or dative (depending on how they are used).

Here is a list of the accusative-only prepositions.

Accusative Prepositions
Deutsch Englisch
bis until, to, by
durch through, by
entlang along, down
für for
gegen against, for
ohne without
um around, for; at (time)

NOTES!

  1. The accusative preposition ,,entlang“, unlike the others, usually goes after its object.
  2. The German preposition ,,bis” is technically an accusative preposition, but it is almost always used with a second preposition (,,bis zu“, ,,bis auf, etc.) in a different case, or without an article (,,bis April“, ,,bis Montag“, ,,bis Bonn“).

The meaning of a two-way preposition often depends on whether it is used with the accusative or dative case.

Two-Way Prepositions
Accusative/Dative
Deutsch Englisch
an at, on, to
auf at, to, on, upon
hinter behind
in in, into
neben beside, near, next to
über about, above, across, over
unter under, among
vor in front of, before; ago (time)
zwischen between

The basic rule for determining whether a two-way preposition should have an object in the accusative or dative case is motion versus location.  The following rule applies only to the so-called “two-way” or “dual” prepositions in German.

  • The accusative occurs when there is motion towards something or to a specific location (,,wohin?“, where to?).

,,Wir gehen ins Kino.” (ins = in das) (We’re going to the movies/cinema.)

,,Legen Sie das Buch auf den Tisch.” (Put/Lay the book on the table.)

  • The dative occurs when there is no motion at all or random motion going nowhere in particular (,,wo?“, where (at)?).

,,Wir sind im Kino.” (im = in dem) (We’re at the movies/cinema.)

,,Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch.” (The book’s lying on the table.)

Many of these prepositions have another meaning in common everyday idioms and expressions: ,,auf dem Lande” (in the country), ,,um drei Uhr” (at three o’clock), ,,unter uns” (among us), ,,am Mittwoch” (on Wednesday), ,,vor einer Woche” (a week ago), etc. These expressions can be learned as vocabulary without worrying about the grammar involved.

That is what I’ve learned about accusative case today… if I learn something else, I will let you know!!!!

See you!! 😀