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dative verbs

German dative verbs are verbs that require the recipient of an action to be in a particular form. In these cases, the verb's action is directed towards someone or something, often indicating that someone is benefiting from the action or is involved indirectly. When using dative verbs, you change the form of the noun or pronoun representing the recipient to match the dative case. This change can involve modifying articles and pronouns to reflect this grammatical form. Dative verbs focus on who or what the action is directed to, without necessarily involving direct objects.

Quick Tip: Dative verbs in German indicate actions directed towards someone or something. Focus on the recipient of the action and adjust the noun or pronoun to match the dative case. Look out for verbs like "helfen," "antworten," and "gefallen," which often require this form.

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Example sentences with Dative verbs

ähneln - to resemble

Er ähnelt seinem Vater.

He resembles his father.


antworten - to answer

Sie antworten dem Vater

They answer the father.


auffallen - to stand out, make an impression

Meine neue Jacke ist ihm nicht aufgefallen.

He didn't notice my new jacket. / My jacket didn't stand out to him.


ausweichen - to avoid

Sie sollte meiner Frage nicht immer ausweichen.

She should not always avoid my question.


befehlen - to order, command

Er befiehlt dem Soldaten den Angriff.

He orders the soldier to attack.


begegnen - to meet someone

Bist du ihm schon mal begegnet?

Have you met him before?

beistehen - to stand by, support

Ich kann dir nicht beistehen.

I can´t stand by you.


danken - to thank

Ich danke dir für das tolle Geschenk.

Thank you for the great gift.


dienen - to serve

Lass dir das als Warnung dienen!

Let that serve as a warning to you!

drohen - to threaten

Mein Vermieter drohte mir mit der Kündigung.

My landlord threatened me with termination.

einfallen - to come to mind, think of something

Es fällt mir nicht im Traum ein.

I wouldn't dream of it.

entgegnen - to reply, retort

Dem ist auch nichts zu entgegnen.

There's nothing to say to that.

erlauben - to allow, permit

Erlauben Sie mir die Frage...

Permit me to ask...

erscheinen - to appear

Das erscheint mir gar nicht sicher.

That doesn't appear safe to me.

erwidern - to reply

Er war unsicher, was er erwidern sollte.

He was unsure what to say in reply.

fehlen - to be missing

Du fehlst mir.

I miss you.

folgen - to follow

Er folgt mir überall hin.

He follows me everywhere.

gefallen - to please [someone]

Wie gefällt dir meine neue Hose ?

How do you like my new pants?

gehorchen - to obey

Der Hund gehorcht mir.

The dog obeys me.

gehören - to belong to

Wem gehört der Hund?

Who does the dog belong to?

gelingen - to succeed

Mit etwas Geduld wird es dir gelingen!

With a little patience you'll succeed!

genügen - to suffice, be enough

Leider genügt es den Anforderungen nicht.

Unfortunately it doesn't fulfill the requirements.


geraten - to advise

Ich werde ihm dazu raten.

I will advise him to do it.

geschehen - to happen, occur

Ihm ist bestimmt etwas geschehen.

Something must have happened to him.

glauben - to believe [someone]

Du kannst es ihm glauben.

You can trust him on this.

gleichen - to closely resemble [someone or something]

Du gleichst ihm aufs Haar.

You resemble him down to a hair.

glücken - to succeed, work out

Hoffentlich wird es mir glücken.

Hopefully it'll work out for me.


gratulieren - to congratulate

Sie gratulieren mir zum Geburtstag.

They are congratulating me on my birthday.

helfen - to help

Kann ich dir helfen?

Can I help you?

lauschen -  to eavesdrop, listen in [on someone]

Er hat einfach gelauscht.

He simply listened.

misslingen - to fail

Er hat Angst, dass es misslingen würde.

He is afraid that it would fail.

munden - to taste good [to someone]

Pizza mundetet ihm am besten.

Pizza tastes best [to him].

nützen - to be of use [to someone]

Es wird ihm nichts nützen.

It won't do him any good.

passen - to fit

Das Hemd passt ihr wie angegossen.

That shirt fits her like it was poured on.

passieren - to happen

Das darf nicht nochmal passieren.

It can´t happen another time.

raten - to advise

Kannst du mir etwas raten?

Can you give me some advice?

schaden - to damage [something], do harm [to someone]

Gesundes Essen kann niemandem schaden.

Healthy food can't hurt anyone.

schmecken - to taste good[to someone]

Hat dir das Eis geschmeckt?

Did you like the ice cream?

schmeicheln - to flatter

Er hat mir geschmeichelt.

He flattered me.

sich nähern - to approach, draw near to

Er nähert sich dem Ruhestand.

He's nearing retirement.

trauen - to trust

Man kann ihm nicht trauen.

He can't be trusted.

vertrauen - to trust, confide in, rely on

Ich vertraue ihm vollkommen.

I fully trust him.

verzeihen - to forgive

Verzeihen Sie, bitte...

Excuse me, please...

widersprechen - to contradict, gainsay

Du darfst mir widersprechen!

You may contradict me!

winken - to wave [to someone]

Sie winkten ihm zum Abschied.

They waved him goodbye.

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