Accusative Case – Declension of Pronouns in German Grammar

Introduction

The accusative case, also the accusative object or direct object, follows certain verbs and prepositions. It is used for the thing or person receiving the direct action of a verb. Because word order is freer in German grammar, we use the accusative case to mark the direct object in a sentence by using different personal pronouns and changing the ending of masculine possessive pronouns. We can use the questions wen/was to find out whom/what is recieving the action of the verb.

Learn the declension of German pronouns in the accusative case online with Lingolia then practise pronoun declension in the exercises.

Example

Karin sucht ihren Hut. Ohne ihn will sie nicht aus dem Haus gehen.

Sie hat nur den Hut ihres Vaters gefunden, nicht ihren. Jemand muss ihn ihr weggenommen haben.

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Usage

We use pronouns in the accustive case:

  • after certain verbs (accusative object), e. g. suchen, finden, …
    Example:
    Karin sucht ihren Hut.Karin is looking for her hat.
    Sie hat nur den Hut ihres Vaters gefunden, nicht ihren.She has only found her father’s hat, not hers.
  • after certain prepositions e.g. durch, für, gegen, ohne, um
    Example:
    Ohne ihn will sie nicht aus dem Haus gehen.She doesn’t want to leave the house without it.
  • as the direct object in sentences with more than one object
    Example:
    Jemand muss ihn ihr weggenommen haben.Someone must have taken it from her.

(see also Overview of the Genitive, Dative and Accusative)

To Note

If a pronoun is the direct object, then it is placed before the indirect object in a sentence.

Examples:
Jemand muss Karin den Hut weggenommen haben.Someone must have taken the hat from Karin.
Jemand muss ihr den Hut weggenommen haben.Someone must have taken the hat from her.
Jemand muss ihn Karin weggenommen haben.Someone must have taken it from Karin.
Jemand muss ihn ihr weggenommen haben.Someone must have taken it from her.

Declension Table: German Pronouns in Accusative

The table provides an overview of personl and possessive pronouns in the accusative case.

personal pronoundependent/independent possessive pronoun
masculineneuterfeminine + plural
adjectivepronoun
1st person singular mich meinen mein meins meine
2nd person singular dich deinen dein deins deine
3rd person singular (m) ihn seinen sein seins seine
3rd person singular (f) sie ihren ihr ihr(e)s ihre
3rd person singular (n) es seinen sein seins seine
1st person plural uns unseren unser unsers unsere
2nd person plural euch euren euer eures eure
3rd person plural sie ihren ihr ihr(e)s ihre

To note

Only the masculine possessive pronouns differ from the nominative.