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Nominative pronouns and Accusative,Dative & Genitive Case


(Nominative) Pronouns

Subject Pronouns

ich

ikh

I
wir

veer

we
du

doo

you (familiar)
ihr

eer

you (all)
er, sie, es, man

air, zee, ess, mahn

he, she, it, one
sie, Sie

zee

they, you (formal)


Note: Man can be translated as one, we, they or the people in general. When referring to nouns as it, you use er for masculine nouns, sie for feminine nouns and es for neuter nouns. However, the definite articles der, die and das can be substituted for er, sie and es to show more emphasis.




Accusative Case

The accusative case corresponds to direct objects. Here are the accusative forms of the definite and indefinite articles. Note that only the masculine changes in this case.


Definite and Indefinite Articles


Masc. Fem. Neuter Plural
Definite den die das die
Indefinite einen eine ein keine

Note: Some masculine nouns add an -(e)n to the accusative form, such as international nouns ending in -t (Dirigent, Komponist, Patient, Polizist, Soldat, Student, Tourist, Journalist); nouns ending in -e denoting male persons or animals (Drache, Junge, Kunde, Löwe, Neffe, Riese, Vorfahre, Zeuge); and the following nouns: Elefant, Herr, Mensch, Nachbar. And wen (whom) is the accusative of wer (who).


Personal Pronouns - Nominative & Accusative

ich I mich me
wir we uns us
du you dich you
ihr you euch you
er he ihn him
sie they sie them
sie she sie her
Sie you Sie you
es it es it




German uses the case system to show the function of a word in a sentence, whereas English relies mainly on word order. Take, for example, the following sentences: Ich esse den Apfel translates into I eat the apple. In German, you can switch the word order around without affecting the meaning. Den Apfel esse ich is also I eat the apple, but in English, if you were to change word order, you would have to say the apple eats me. English does not accommodate for the direct object to be placed before the subject and verb like German does. Usually, word order reflects (subjective) focus: the noun having the speakers focus is usually put as much as possible towards the beginning of a sentence.


Dative Case

The dative case corresponds to indirect objects. Usually in English, we use the words to or for to indicate an indirect object. But German relies on the endings of the dative case. Here are the dative forms of the definite and indefinite articles.

Definite and Indefinite Articles


Masc. Fem. Neuter Plural
Definite dem der dem den
Indefinite einem einer einem keinen

Note: Those same masculine nouns that added an -(e)n in the accusative form also add an -(e)n in the dative form. And all plural nouns add an -(e)n in the dative plural, unless they already end in an -n or -s. And wem (to/for whom) is the dative of wer (who).


Personal Pronouns


mir me
uns us
dir you
euch you
ihm him
ihnen they
ihr her
Ihnen you
ihm it


In sentences that show with both a direct and indirect object, the noun in the dative case precedes the accusative noun, unless the accusative case is a pronoun.

Ich schenke meinem Bruder eine Krawatte. I give (to) my brother a tie.
Ich schenke sie meinem Bruder. I give it to my brother.



Genitive Case

The genitive case is used to show possession, more often in writing than in speech. When speaking, most people use von (of) plus the dative case to show possession. For proper nouns, German only adds an -s to the noun, whereas English would add an apostrophe and an -s. Feminine and Plural nouns do not change in the Genitive case. Masculine and Neuter nouns add an -s if the word is more than one syllable, or an -es if the word is one syllable. Except the weak masculine nouns that added -(e)n in the accusative and dative; they also add -(e)n in the genitive. There are some irregular nouns that add -s after -en in the genitive case as well, for example der Name becomes des Namens and das Herz becomes des Herzens.

die Farbe des Vogels - the color of the bird
die Grösse des Hauses - the size of the house
die Tasche meiner Mutter - my mother's purse
der Bleistift des Studenten - the student's pencil


Definite and Indefinite Articles



Masc. Fem. Neu. Plural
Definite des der des der
Indefinite eines einer eines keiner


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