1. Education

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum2.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

The Four German Cases

Part 2: Summary - Pronouns

Summary | Nominative | Accusative | Dative | Genitive
Werfall | Wenfall | Wemfall | Wesfall
Nominativ | Akkusativ | Dativ | Genitiv

As we stated in the first part of this summary, English also has cases, but they are only apparent with pronouns, not with nouns, as in German. This section of our summary is devoted to the German pronouns, which also take on different forms (i.e., are "declined") in the various cases. Just as nominative "I" changes to objective "me" in English, nominative ich changes to accusative mich in German. Oberve the following German-English examples in which the pronouns are red:

Er (der Hund) beißt den Mann.
He (the dog) bites the man.
Ihn (den Mann) hat der Hund gebissen.
The dog bit him (the man).
Wen hat er gebissen?
Whom did he bite?
Wer ist das?
Who is that?
Du hast mich doch gesehen?
You did see me (didn't you)?
Die hat keine Ahnung.
She/That one has no idea.
Most of the German personal pronouns have different forms in each of the four cases, but it can be helpful to observe that some (similar to English "you") do not always change. An example is "she"/sie (also "they"/sie and "you"/Sie). This pronoun, regardless of its meaning, remains the same in the nominative and accusative cases. In the dative it changes to ihnen/Ihnen, while the possessive form is ihr/Ihr. Two German pronouns use the same form in both the accusative and the dative (uns, euch). The third-person pronouns (he, she, it) follow the rule that only the masculine gender shows any change in the accusative case. Neither neuter es nor feminine sie changes. But in the dative case, all of the pronouns take on uniquely dative forms.

The following chart shows the personal pronouns in all four cases. Changes from the nominative (subject) case are indicated in red.

For more about each case, see the links below.

Third-Person Pronouns (er, sie, es)
Fall
Case
Männlich
masc.
Weiblich
fem.
Sächlich
neut.
Mehrzahl
plural
Nom er
he
sie
she
es
it
sie
they
Akk ihn
him
sie
her
es
it
sie
them
Dat ihm
(to) him
ihr
(to) her
ihm
(to) it
ihnen
(to) them
Gen*
(Poss.)
sein
his
ihr
her
sein
its
ihre
their
*Note: The possessive third-person pronoun forms shown here do not indicate the various additional case endings (genitive, dative, etc.) they might have in a typical sentence in various situations (i.e., seiner, ihres, etc.).
Demonstrative Pronouns (der, die, denen)
Fall
Case
Männlich
masc.
Weiblich
fem.
Sächlich
neut.
Mehrzahl
plural
Nom der
that one
die
that one
das
that one
die
these
Akk den
that one
die
that one
das
that one
die
those
Dat dem
(to) that
der
(to) that
dem
(to) that
denen
(to) them
Gen dessen
of that
deren
of that
dessen
of that
deren
of them
Note: When the definite articles are used as demonstrative pronouns, only the dative plural and genitive forms are different from the normal definite articles.
Other Pronouns
Fall
Case
1. Person
sing.
1. Person
plur.
2. Person
sing.
2. Person
plur.
Nom ich
I
wir
we
du
you
ihr
you
Akk mich
me
uns
us
dich
you
euch
you
Dat mir
(to) me
uns
(to) us
dir
(to) you
euch
(to) you
Gen*
(Poss.)
mein
my
unser
our
dein
your
euer
your
Interrogative "who"Formal "you"
Fall
Case
Wer?
who?
2. Person
formal (sing. & plur.)
Nom wer Sie
Akk wen
whom
Sie
you
Dat wem
(to) whom
Ihnen
(to) you
Gen*
(Poss.)
wessen
whose
Ihr
your
Note: Sie is the same in the singular and plural. It is always capitalized in all of its forms. Wer (who) has no plural form in German or English.
Was?
The interrogative was (what) is the same in the nominative and accusative cases. It has no dative or genitive forms and is related to das and es. Like wer, was has no plural form in German or English.

For more details about each case and to read articles related to the cases, see the links below.

NEXT > The Nominative Case

BACK > German Definite and Indefinite Articles (Cases - Part 1)

MORE > German Grammar Glossary - What is the nominative, dative...?

MORE > Nominative | Accusative | Dative | Genitive


Related Pages

Grammar Glossary
German grammar terms explained in plain English.

Adjective Endings (1)
The German adjective endings in the nominative case.

Adjective Endings (2)
The German adjective endings in the accusative and dative cases.

German Word Order
A helpful guide to German syntax.


German Newsletters
Subscribe to a free newsletter!

German Chat

OUR GERMAN FORUMS

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.