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What is the Accusative case in German grammar and how to use the german Accusative case ?

The Accusative case marks the direct object in a sentence. The masculine forms for German articles, e.g. "der", "ein", etc., change in the accusative: der changes to den, ein changes to einen. The feminine, neutral, and plural forms do not change.

To find the direct object, look for the verb and ask "Who or what is directly affected by the verb?" "Who or what is being verbed" (Who or what is being had? Who or what is being seen? etc.)

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Accusative articles

Accusative articles are slightly different to the articles in the nominative case. 

The masculine articles are changing: der and ein (nominative case) are changing to den and einen. The feminine, neutral, and plural articles are not affected by the changes.

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Definite Article

Ich sehe den Baum.

Ich sehe die Blume.

Ich sehe das Haus.

Ich sehe die Steine.

Indefinite Article

Ich sehe einen Baum.

Ich sehe eine Blume.

Ich sehe ein Haus.

Ich sehe keine Steine.

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Only the masculine article is changing. 

Example sentences to indentify the direct object in a sentence.

Der Hund frisst den Knochen. The dog eats the bone.

Who or what is eaten?

- The bone. The bone is the direct object, the one affected by the verb.

Der Junge trinkt die Milch. The boy drinks the milk. 

Who or what is drunk?

- The milk. The milk is the direct object, the one affected by the verb.

Das Kind kauft das Brot. The child buys the bread.

Who or what is bought?

- The bread. The bread is the direct object, the one affected by the verb.

Die Frau mag das Geschenk. The woman likes the gift.

Who or what is liked?

- The gift. The gift is the direct object, the one affected by the verb.

Die Eltern sehen die Kinder. The parents see the children.

Who or what is seen?

- The children. The children are the direct object, the ones affected by the verb.

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Accusative personal pronouns

Personal pronouns replace nouns that have already been referred to. In German grammar, personal pronouns are declined according to the case they are in. We use personal pronouns to talk about ourselves and to address other people.

The pronoun must agree in gender and number with the word it replaces.

For example, you could say: Der Mann füttert die Katze. Er liebt die Katze. The man feeds the cat. He loves the cat.

But if the noun repeats itself, it would be simpler and more natural to say: Der Mann füttert die Katze. Er liebt sie. The man feeds the cat. He loves her.


When comparing the articles and pronouns, you will quickly see that the endings are always the same. In all cases!

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Der Hund frisst den Knochen. Der Hund frisst ihn. The dog eats the bone. The dog eats it.

Der Junge trinkt die Milch. Der Junge trinkt sieThe boy drinks the milk. The boy drinks it.

Das Kind kauft das Brot. Das Kind kauft es. The child buys the bread. The child buys it.

Die Frau mag das Geschenk. Die Frau mag es. The woman likes the gift. The woman likes it.

Die Eltern sehen die Kinder. Die Eltern sehen sie. The parents see the children. The parents see them.

Accusative prepositions

Accusative prepositions are another part of the accusative. A preposition is a word or group used before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. When you use one of these prepositions, you must put the noun or pronoun that follows it in the accusative case.

The accusative prepositions are:

durch = through

für = for

gegen = against (with time: ‘about’)

ohne = without

um = around (with time: ‘at’)

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Ich laufe durch den Park. I walk through the park.

Er findet kein Geschenk für sie. He can't find a present for her.

Sie stößt gegen den Tisch. She bumps into the table.

Wir fahren nicht ohne ihn los. We're not leaving without him.

Der Hund jagt die Katze um das Haus. The dog chases the cat around the house.

In German colloquial language, there are contractions in the use of prepositions with the article "das":

fürs = für das, durchs = durch das,  ums = um das

Accusative verbs

Verbs are used in the accusative, dative or both cases. The verb determines which case is used.
Certain verbs need an object - they cannot stand alone. These verbs are called transitive verbs because there is a transition from subject to verb to object.
It is incomplete to say "I need" or "I provide". One has to inform about what one needs/offers. This information is the direct object in the case of the accusative.
It is an essential principle that whenever a verb requires an object (transitive verbs), this object must automatically be in the accusative.

The following verbs are used in the accusative case:











to need

to have

to cook

to like

to eat

to drink

to buy

to take

to see

to visit

Ich brauche einen neuen Computer.

Hast du eine neue Jacke?

Ich koche gerne deutsches Essen.

Er mag sie.

Die Familie isst kein Fleisch.

Sie trinkt gerne Kaffee.

Wir kaufen morgen ein Puppenhaus.

Nimmst du dir einen Apfel?

Ich sehe dich nicht.

Sie besuchen ihre Tante.

accusative case - Articles and pronouns

accusative case - article training 1

Genitive, Dative, Accusative - Articles

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