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German Dative Verbs
Using German Verbs: Dative Verbs

Also see > The Dative Case

In the following chart you'll find those German verbs that take a "direct" object in the dative case rather than the normal accusative case. (More details about this distinction below.)

The "dative verbs" category is a rather loose classification because almost any transitive verb can have a dative indirect object. But in general a dative verb is one that normally takes an object in the dative case—usually without any other object. The list below does not include such "normal" verbs, as geben (give) or zeigen (show, indicate), that commonly have both a direct and an indirect object (as in English): Er gibt mir das Buch.mir is the indirect object (dative) and Buch is the direct object (accusative).

In addition to the single-word English translation, many dative verbs can be translated with a to-phrase: antworten, to give an answer to; danken, to give thanks to; gefallen, to be pleasing to; etc. This favorite grammar trick of many German teachers does not always hold up (as with folgen, to follow). But this "to" aspect does have some basis in the German grammar of some dative verbs, in that they are not actually taking a true direct object. Ich glaube dir nicht. (I don't believe you.) is short for Ich glaube es dir nicht—in which es is the true direct object and dir is a sort of "dative of possession" that could be translated "of you" (i.e., "I don't believe it of you."). However, even if you are one of those rare people who find all this dative grammar fascinating, it is best to simply learn (memorize!) the more common dative verbs. Thus, the chart below, which lists the most common dative verbs—those that you should learn first! On the next page you'll find more dative verbs, some of which are less common but also important to learn after those in this chart.

Note that many dative verbs also have an accusative be- prefix variation: antworten/beantworten, danken/bedanken, etc. In many cases we have listed these under Beispiele (examples) in the following chart.

This verb chart uses the new German spelling (die neue Rechtschreibung).

More > Contents | Dative Verbs 2

Dativ-Verben - Dative Verbs
Also see Dative Verbs 2
Deutsch English Beispiele
antworten answer Antworten Sie mir!
Antworten Sie auf die Frage!
Beantworten Sie die Frage!
danken thank Ich danke dir.
Ich bedanke mich.
fehlen be missing Du fehlst mir.
Was fehlt dir?

Also see befehlen.
folgen follow Bitte folgen Sie mir!
Ich bin ihm gefolgt.
Ich befolge immer deinen Rat.
gefallen like, be pleasing to Dein Hemd gefällt mir.
Also negative, missfallen, to not like
Dein Hemd missfällt mir.
gehören belong to Das Buch gehört mir, nicht dir.
glauben believe Er glaubte mir nicht.
helfen help Hilf deinem Bruder!
Ich kann dir leider nicht helfen.
Leid tun be sorry Es tut mir Leid.
Sie tut mir Leid.
passieren to happen (to) Was ist dir passiert?
verzeihen pardon, forgive Ich kann ihm nicht verzeihen.
wehtun to hurt Wo tut es Ihnen weh?

NEXT > Dative Verbs - Part 2

MORE > The Dative Case

MORE > More German Grammar

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