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 their grammatical cases.

Naturally, all verbs ought to give rise to the Akkusativ in the standard SVO order. 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;

  1. Nominativ
  2. Akkusativ
  3. Dativ
  4. Genitiv

Nominativ verb

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

Usage;

  • 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.

Akkusativ verb

These grammatical verbs are the most common in German. They are quite common. 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 require a “what”. This is one way they can be easily differentiated from the other grammatical verbs. Examples are;

Examples;

  • haben
  • machen
  • abschließen
  • kommen
  • brennen
  • wissen
  • verlieben
  • vergessen
  • gehen
  • suchen
  • sprechen
  • reden
  • malen
  • biegen
  • singen
  • denken
  • bedanken
  • to have
  • to make/ do
  • to lock up/ finalize
  • to come
  • to burn
  • to know fact
  • to fall in love
  • to forget
  • to go
  • to search/ seek
  • to speak
  • to talk
  • to paint
  • to bend
  • to sing
  • to think
  • to be thankful

Usage;

  • 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.

Dativ verb

When these verbs are used, there must not necessarily be a direct object in the sentence. 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 with a Dativ 😃.

Just like the Akkusativ verbs, they are quite many in German. 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 out of context without a “who” for it to makesense, 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 sleeping etc.

Some examples of Dativ verbs are listed below;

  • tun
  • fehlen
  • gratulieren
  • danken
  • leihen
  • empfehlen
  • geben
  • helfen
  • passen
  • vertrauen
  • schenken
  • schicken
  • senden
  • gefallen
  • gehören
  • to do
  • to err/ make a mistake
  • to congratulate
  • to thank
  • to lend
  • to recommend
  • to give (in hand)
  • to help
  • to fit/ match
  • to trust
  • to give (as gift)
  • to send
  • to send
  • to like/ be pleased with
  • to belong to

**recall that Dativ always goes with the preposition “to” in English, but in the case of a Dativ verb, “to” is usually not needed.

Usage;

  • I will help you.—— ich werde dir helfen.
  • Mr Paul is sending Mario.—— Herr Paul schickt Mario.
  • The bag belongs to me.—— die Tasche gehört mir.
  • She doesn’t trust the man.—— sie vertrauet dem Mann nicht.
  • I gave you that.—— ich habe dir das gegeben.
  • It hurts me.—— es tut mir weh.

Genitiv verb

There are just few verbs in German that can condition a case to be Genitiv. Some are;

  • erinnern
  • gedenken
  • to remember
  • to commemorate

Usage;

  • We can not forget our parents, that’s why we commemorate them.—— wir können unsere Eltern nicht vergessen, deshalb gedenken wir ihrer.
  • I remember the man.—— ich erinnere des Mannes.

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