Dative Case in German Grammar – Complete Declension Table

Introduction

The dative case, also known as dative object or indirect object (3. Fall/Wem-Fall in German), is the person or thing receiving the indirect action of a verb. In English grammar, the indirect object is often indicated by the prepositions to and for or pronouns like me, him, us, them etc. In German grammar, the dative case is marked by changing articles, pronouns, adjective and noun endings. We use the dative case after certain verbs and prepositions. We can find the dative case by asking wem/was – To whom/what is the indirect action of the verb directed?

Master the declension of German nouns in the dative case online with Lingolia then practise noun declension in the exercises.

Declension Table: Articles, Adjectives, and Nouns

definite article*indefinite article, kein,
possessive determiners (mein…)
no article
masculine dem netten Vater einem netten Vater nettem Vater
feminine der netten Mutter einer netten Mutter netter Mutter
neuter dem netten Kind einem netten Kind nettem Kind
plural den netten Eltern netten Eltern netten Eltern

*Adjectives that come after the following words are declined exactly the same as after the definite article: derselbe, dieser, jener, mancher, solcher, welcher, alle.

Example:
Jeder gute Schüler muss im Unterricht aufpassen.Every good pupil must pay attention in class.
(but: Ein guter Schüler muss im Unterricht aufpassen.A good pupil must pay attention in class.)

Declension Table: Dative Pronouns

personal pronounspossessive pronouns (dependent, independent)
masculine + neuterfeminineplural
1st person singular mir meinem meiner meinen
2nd person singular dir deinem deiner deinen
3rd person singular (m) ihm seinem seiner seinen
3rd person singular (f) ihr ihrem ihrer ihren
3rd person singular (n) ihm seinem seiner seinen
1st person plural uns unserem unserer unseren
2nd person plural euch eurem eurer euren
3rd person plural ihnen ihrem ihrer ihren

Usage

List of German verbs that take the dative:

antwortento answer, zuhörento listen to, zustimmento agree with, widersprechento contradict
glaubento believe, vertrauento trust, folgento follow
helfento help, gratulierento congratulate, dankento thank
gehorchento obey, verzeihento forgive
gehörento belong to, gefallento please
leidtunto feel sorry for, wehtunto hurt
liegento lie, sitzento sit, stehento stand (+ preposition)

List of German Prepositions that take the dative:

aus, aus … heraus, außer, bei, dank, gegenüber,
mit, nach, seit, von, von … aus, zu, bis zu, … zufolge

Dative or Accusative

Some verbs and prepositions can be used with either the dative or the accusative, depending on the circumstance. We use the dative to ask about a position (where?).

hängen, stecken
an, auf, hinter, in, neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen