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Should one necessarily learn, when a verb goes with Dativ and when with Akkusativ, or can it be deduced?

How to determine if a verb in question induces akkusativ or dativ? If there are direct object and indirect object, they are associated akkusativ and genitiv respectively (kind of tautological):

Ich schenke dir einen Wagen [ du ist hier das indirekte Objekt; ein Wagen das direkte Objekt ]

But not all verbs are so easily managed. I'm after hints that can make me save lot of time learning which verb goes with which case (if there are rules at all).

What to do if there is only one object? For sake of concreteness, let's take two verbs, say, antworten und fragen which seem to be not very different: one asks a question to somebody and one answers a question to somebody. However, the first induces dativ and the second akkusativ:

Antworten Sie mir aber Frag mich!

Or in the words of the rule above, how does one know that ich is a undirect object for antworten while a direct object for fragen?

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you picked one of the biggest exceptions to "normal" configuration... fragen is just irregular and there is no ligical way to see or deduce that. –  Emanuel Jul 5 '13 at 21:24
    
@Emanuel, yes, may be, I wasn't aware of that. Name it then "begleiten". Warum "jmdm. begleiten" und nicht "jmdn. belgeiten"? –  c.p. Jul 5 '13 at 23:26
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@c.p. es ist jmdn begleiten... –  Emanuel Jul 5 '13 at 23:38
    
Yeah, in "frag mich eine Frage" both mich and eine Frage are Akkusativ; and even though the Akkusativ "slot" is still available with antworten, one could at most say "antworte mir mit einer Antwort". Isn't this language wonderful? –  Hagen von Eitzen Jul 7 '13 at 16:08
    
@Emanuel ok, sorry, I recognize my mistake. In that case, let it be "folgen" (why dative? it doesn't seem to have a canonical akkusative-slot.) –  c.p. Jul 7 '13 at 21:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

... learn, when a verb goes with Dativ and when with Akkusativ?

Use that rule with direct and indirect object as you already know.

Or in the words of the rule above, how does one know that ich is a undirect object for antworten while a direct object for fragen?

You just can imagine the Dativ concerning antworten in a way that someone gives information back to someone, and you reduce it from Antwort geben to antworten. But that's just a guess from my feel for language. A reply gives something back, so that may be your virtual direct object. The same goes with imponieren, "make a good impression on someone".

I've learnt in school to look at the preposition. "aus bei mit nach seit von zu" want dative, "durch um gegen für ohne" demand accusative.

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As a rule of thumb, when a verb has to do with motion, you use accusative. When the verb indicates a static situation you use dative.

"Er schmiss die Akte auf den Tisch."

"Die Akte liegt auf dem Tisch."

However, there are verbs that require a certain case regardless of whether or not motion is involved, and you will just have to learn those.

"Gib' mir das Buch!"

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well, I'm not sure if the first part of this answer addresses my question :). I was thinking of verbs, not which case induce the prepositions. –  c.p. Jul 8 '13 at 16:12

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