The Accusative Case in German


The German accusative case is mainly for direct objects and objects of accusative prepositions. A direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb (i.e. they are acted upon). (accusative case German)

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Understanding German cases is extremely important. The German accusative case is typically the second of the German Cases learned by students. German accusative case: mainly used for direct objects and objects of accusative prepositions. A direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb (i.e. they are acted upon).

Die Frau füttert den Hund. / The woman feeds the dog.

The direct object can be identified by asking, “Who or what is being ‘verbed’?” For the above example we can ask: Who or what is being fed? The answer is “the dog”. Hence, the dog is the direct object of the sentence. It is in the accusative case
The accusative case only affects masculine nouns: the definite article changes from “der” to “den.” The indefinite article “ein” (masculine) changes to “einen.” Feminine and neutral nouns do not change.

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Ich rieche den KuchenI smell the cake
(“der Kuchen” is a masculine noun. In the accusative, “der” becomes “den”.)

Ich rieche die BlumeI smell the flower
(“die Blume” is a feminine noun. In the accusative it does not change.)

When a person is the direct object of a sentence, or when we use a personal pronoun to refer to a noun (ex.: I smell the cake. -> I smell it.), then we need use the accusative pronouns. 

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Ich rufe ihn an.I call him. (“er” in the accusative changes to “ihn”.)
Wir lieben es.We love it. (“es” in the accusative remains “es”.)
Du nervst mich. You annoy me. (“ich” in the accusative changes to “mich”.)

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.