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Accusative Case in German (der Akkusativ)

In this topic, we will focus on the accusative case in German.

Accusative Case in German

The accusative case in German is the equivalent of the direct object in English and shows us who or what is affected by the action in a sentence.

First, let’s compare the nominative and accusative case to understand better.

Der Mann hat einen Hund. (The man has a dog.)

“Der Mann” is doing the action and therefore in the nominative case. The thing affected by his action is “der Hund” (the dog), which is in the accusative case.

As you know, when someone or something is doing the action, we use the nominative case. On the other hand, when someone or something is being affected by the action, we use the accusative case which is why the spelling of the article changes.

As you see that the table below, only the spelling of the masculine articles (der, ein) changes. The feminine articles (die, eine), the neutral articles (das, ein) and the plural article (die) stay the same:

CaseMasculineFeminineNeuterPlural
Nominativeder
ein
die
eine
das
ein
die
Accusativeden
einen
die
eine
das
ein
die
Accusative Case in German

As we mentioned at the beginning, the accusative case shows us who or what is affected by the action in a sentence. It is called the direct object in English.

Some examples of words (direct objects) in the accusative case are given in the table below, highlighted in bold:

Ich habe einen Hund.
I have a dog.
Ich sehe den Mann.
I see the man.
Er liest ein Buch.
He reads a book.
Thomas hat ein Fahrrad.
Thomas has a bicycle.
Ich benutze den Computer.
I’m using the computer.
Ich treffe den Arzt im Krankenhaus.
I’ll meet the doctor in the hospital.

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