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Accusative case in German – Nouns

Lesson on introduction to German cases: Cases in German

Usually a sentence has three parts

  1.  Subject who does the action
  2. Object who receives the action
  3. Verb which specifies the type of action

For example,  in a sentence “A man buys a chair” ,

  1. Subject is “the man” who is doing an action
  2. Object is “the chair” who is receiving an action
  3. Verb is “to buy” which suggests the action of buying.

Similar sentences would be

  1. The dog bites a man
  2. I hear songs
  3. I eat an apple
  4. He is giving a pen

In all the above sentences, highlighted words are direct objects.

The accusative case is used for direct objects.

The German Articles for nouns which are objects in the sentences will undergo a declensional change.

For example:

Der Mann sieht Den Mann (The man sees the man)

There are two  nouns – “Mann”

The noun which is the subject takes the article of the nominative case : Der Mann

The noun which is the object takes the article of the accusative case : Den Mann

The article “Der” changes to become “Den” for all masculine nouns in accusative case.

accusative case in german

In the German accusative case,the articles for masculine gender change while articles for feminine and neuter gender remain the same.

The table below gives the list of definite and indefinite articles in accusative case.

Articles for accusative case in German

Masculine Feminine Neuter
Definite articles Den (changes from Der) Die Das
Indefinite articles Einen (changes from Ein) Eine Ein


Examples:

Der Mann sieht den Mann
→The man sees the man
Der Mann sieht die Frau
→The man sees the woman
Der Hund beißt den Hund
→The dog bites the dog
Ich kaufe einen Hund
→I buy a dog
Monica isst einen Apfel
→Monica eats an Apple

Peter trinkt die Beer
→Peter drinks the beer
Du siehst einen Junge
→You see a boy
Ich fahre ein Auto
→I drive a car

Like articles,  the pronouns also undergo declensional change in the accusative case.

The following table compares the nominative and accusative  form of possessive pronouns in German.

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Nominative Mein Meine Mein Meine
Accusative Meinen Meine Mein Meine

The German pronoun for masculine gender changes  from “Mein” to “Meinen” in accusative case.

This rule is applicable to all possessive adjectives of masculine gender. The pronouns  like “dein”,”seine”,”unser” and “ihr” become “deinen”,”seinen”,”unseren”,”ihren” in accusative case.

Let us see this with examples.

Nominative German (Accusative) English
Mein Computer (M) Ich sah meinen Computer
I saw my computer
Mein Stuhl (M) Peter kaufte meinen Stuhl
Peter bought my chair
Meine Mutter (F) Ich sah meine Mutter
I saw my mother
Unser Buch (N) Peter kaufte unser Buch
Peter bought our book.
Sein Auto (N) Ich nehme seine Auto
I take his car
Dein Apfel (M) Peter isst deinen Apfel
Peter is eating your apple
Ihr Bruder (M) Ich mag ihren Bruder
I like her brother

Quiz 4.1

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Next Lesson : Dative case in German for nouns

 More Practice and Examples on Accusative case in German

 

Table of Content : | German Alphabet | German Lessons | German Vocabulary | Daily German Sentences |
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