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In the sentence:

Er kommt mit seinem Auto

...it uses the Dativ "seinem". However in the sentence:

Ich kaufe seinen Auto

...it uses the Dativ "seinen".

Could anybody explain this to me, as I thought Dativ described a when/where situation (or is that just when using double Dativs?)


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closed as unclear what you're asking by Grantwalzer, Emanuel, Vogel612, Em1, user unknown Aug 4 at 2:09

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"Ich kaufe sein Auto." Where did you get that sentence from? It's not correct. – Ich kaufe was? -> Akkusativ – Ich kaufe das Auto. Wessen Auto? Sein Auto (Akkusativ Neutrum Deklination) –  Em1 Aug 1 at 12:07
Additionally, seinen is either male, accusative, singular or dative, plural. –  Grantwalzer Aug 1 at 12:17
@james then it's likely that with "VW" they were implicitly meaning "der Wagen", which is masculine and whose declension is thus "seinem" in the dative and "seinen" in the accusative. –  karoshi Aug 1 at 12:32
Yes, because "mit" wants dative... that's all there is to it. –  Emanuel Aug 1 at 12:48
@james, yes, after "mit" (and a number of other prepositions like "zu", "nach", "aus", "von", "bei" and a few less common others) you put the dative. –  karoshi Aug 1 at 12:53

1 Answer 1

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The correct sentences are:

Er kommt mit seinem Auto (=Dativ).

Ich kaufe sein Auto (=Akkusativ).

Please note that "Auto" is a neuter noun in singular. When you use, for example, "VW" instead of "Auto", you have to use the masculine variant.

The first sentence uses Dativ, because the preposition "mit" requires that case. When studying German, you have to learn by heart for every preposition which case(s) they use.

The second sentence uses Akkusativ, because the verb "etwas (=Akkusativ) kaufen" (to buy something) requires this case. This construction can be expanded a bit to "jemandem (=Dativ) etwas (=Akkusativ) kaufen" (to buy something for somebody) but the dative object is not required. For every verb the case(s) they use must be learnt by heart. There are some rules of thumb: For example with verbs like "jemandem (=Dativ) etwas (=Akkusativ) geben" (to give something to somebody) that have two objects, the Dativ is used for the receiver and the Akkusativ is used for the object that is given. But that's only a tendency and you are better off learning the cases for every verb by heart.

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Thanks for the reply. So from this information and what I've read up the akkusativ is the direct object (what, when) and the dativ is the indirect object that receives it (to whom, where). Akkusative usually follows the prepositions durch,fur,gegen, ohne and um. Dativ usually (but not always) follows none-movemental (is that a word) or static prepositions: aus, bei, mit, seit, von etc. Double dativs follow a positional preposition; uber dem Tisch etc –  james Aug 1 at 13:27
In my opinion the "indirect/direct object" thing just complicates the issue. For example, in "ich frage ihn" and in "ich antworte ihm" one would expect the same case because the object plays somehow the same role. - If you can't type in the umlauts or the ß the correct alternative would be "ae" for ä, "oe" for ö, "ue" for ü and "ss" for "ß" –  Chris Aug 1 at 14:15

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