These are verbs that are owned individually by the four grammatical cases. These verbs naturally condition the grammar (noun/pronoun) right after them to be of their cases.
Naturally, all verbs ought to give rise to the Akkusativ in the standard SVO order of a simple German sentence formation. What this means is that after a verb, ought to be the Akkusativ, but as a result of all German verbs belonging to different grammatical categories, it is not so. One needs to be careful. Recall: the four grammatical cases are;
These are specific classified verbs that conditions the grammatical case directly after them to become Nominativ. In other words, whenever these verbs are used, the next noun/pronoun directly after them must be Nominativ. When this happens, it gives a possibility to have two Nominativs in one sentence. The sentence order then becomes „SVS” instead of the Standard „SVO”. Some examples of Nominativ verbs include;
- Sein —— to be
- Bleiben —— to remain/stay
- Werden —— to become
- Heißen —— to be called
- I am a man.—— ich bin ein Mann.
- she is called Janet. —— sie heißt Janet.
- The girl is becoming a woman.—— das Mädchen wird eine Frau.
- John remains the teacher.—— John bleibt der Lehrer.
These grammatical verbs are the most common in German to the extent that if you ever find yourself not being able to decide the case of the verb, just pick the Akkusativ. Your chances of being right would be quite high. Akkusativ verbs always tells “what” some is doing. This is one way they can be easily differentiated from the other grammatical verbs. Examples are;
|Akkusativ Verben||English translation|
to lock up
to fall in love
to know smb./smth.
- I have him.—— ich habe ihn.
- She is singing a song.—— sie singt ein Lied.
- We are painting the wall.—— wir malen die Wand.
- Kate bends her arm.—— Kate biegt ihren Arm.
When these verbs are used, it indicates that there must be a benefactor in the sentence. There mustn’t necessarily be a direct object in the sentence but an indirect object or a benefactor is paramount. It overrules the law in the SVO that “for there to be a Dativ in a sentence, there must first be an Akkusativ”. So now you can have a short sentence even with a Dativ 😃. Just like the Akkusativ verbs, they are quite many in German but some examples are listed below;
|Dativ Verben||English translation|
to miss/ lack/ err
to tell/ narrate
to give (gift)
to like/ please
to belong to
In case you ever come across a new verb and you are wondering if it is Akkusativ or Dativ, just translate the verb to the English version. If the English version of the verb is one that cannot be used in context without a “who” for it to make sense, then it’s most likely to be a German Dativ verb. For instance:
- I am giving… ¿¿¿
- I am congratulating… ¿¿¿
- I am lending… ¿¿¿
The above clauses can not be used out of the blue like the Akkusativ counterparts below which do not require a “who” but a “what”.
- I have.
- I am eating
- I am driving etc.
|Ich werde dir helfen.||I will help you.|
|Die Tasche gehört mir.||The bag belongs to me.|
|Sie vertrauet dem Mann nicht.||She doesn’t trust the man.|
|Ich habe dir das gegeben.||I gave you that.|
|Es tut mir weh.||It hurts me.|
**recall that Dativ always goes with the preposition “to” in English, but in the case of a Dativ verb, “to” is not literally translated because it is usually imbibed in the indirect object.
There are just few verbs in German that can condition a case to be Genitiv. They are mostly used in their reflexive forms with prepositions and then become of another case. Some examples are;
- (sich) erinnern (an)—— to remember
- (sich) gedenken (mit)—— to commemorate
|Wir können unsere Eltern nicht vergessen, deshalb gedenken wir ihres Lebens.||We can not forget our parents, that’s why we commemorate their life.|
|Ich erinnere des Mannes.||I remember the man.|