Accusative / doing things in and around the houseAs mentioned earlier, we will now introduce a second case, the accusative. We will also explain to a certain extend the German case system.
The following pictures show common activities in and around the house. Study them for a while before you continue with reading. Note that all the verbs in these activities are regular verbs and end in '-en'. That means that you can conjugate them exactly as the regular verbs from the last lesson (e.g. machen, gehen, etc...).
Click on the blue arrows to hear the words in German.
You might have noticed something important here. You never see the definite article 'der' in the vocabularies above but you see the article 'den' sometimes. You learned from the previous lesson that the direct article for masculine nouns, 'der', changes to 'den', whenever we are talking about directions and we are using the preposition 'in' (e.g. 'Ich gehe in den Park').
We will now explain to you, why sometimes 'der' changes to 'den' and we will list exact rules to help you figure out, in which situations you will have to do so.
In German, all nouns practically have four different modes, in which they can show up in a sentence. These four modes are called 'cases'. The cases in German are:
1) nominative (for subjects in a sentence; standard case)
2) genitive (indicates possession)
3) dative (for indirect objects in a sentence)
4) accusative (for direct objects in a sentence; this is the case that you will learn about now)
- You already know the nominative, which is the standard form of all nouns and is used for the subjects of a sentence. Also, the nominative is the form of a noun that you learn, when you study the vocabularies in our vocabulary-section.
- You also heard today about the genitive, but ONLY in connection with names (add 's' to name).
- Now we will have a closer look at the accusative and when and how it is used:
All direct objects in a sentence have to be in the accusative case. Direct objects are defined as those nouns or names that are directly affected by the action described by a sentence's verbs.
The accusative is only visible on masculine nouns. The definite article 'der' changes to 'den'. Thus, for feminine and neuter nouns, the accusative and nominative forms are identical.
In the following sentences, the subjects are highlighted in green (nominative), the direct objects are highlighted in red (accusative).
The accusative is also used, when using the preposition 'in' in connection with a noun describing a direction.
Complicated? Don't worry, we will now exercise a little bit until you will fully automate the use of the accusative without even thinking about it.
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