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I don't understand the reason why you need accusative instead of nominative after the impersonal construct es gibt (or gibt es in the questions).

According to the analysis of the parts of speech, what comes after it should be the subject of the sentence, not the object, like for instance in:

Es gibt ein(en) Fehler auf dem Tisch.

Can you clarify the use of accusative here? I can probably deduce that the subject is "es" so that Fehler would become an object, but I'd like to have the complete grammatical analysis.

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>pen = Füller/Stift >feather = Feder >mistake = Fehler You may mixed up Feder and Füllfederhalter (fountain pen). –  user4749 Nov 18 '13 at 12:56

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Es gibt einen Fehler auf dem Tisch.

Es, although an impersonal is still the subject acting on the object (the mistake). Imagine if in English you said

It gives a mistake on the table.

the mistake is still being given by the it. On the other hand, if you said

Es ist ja niemand da.

then it's niemand and not niemanden because sein is a linking verb so both sides of the sentence are nominative (niemand is the nominative predicate of es, to use fancy terms), and the es is not acting on the niemand, the es is the niemand (and the niemand is the es).

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Thank you, it's clear now! Ooops, I meant to use pen (Feder) instead of Fehler, having an error on the table does not make much sense :P! –  martina Nov 17 '13 at 13:11

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