6

I could not understand who got introduced to whom first in the following sentence – customer to employees or employees to customer?

Eine weitere Regel ist, dass man zuerst dem Kunden die Mitarbeiter der eigenen Firma vorstellt, dann den Mitarbeitern den Kunden.

10

Quick answer:

zuerst:

           (dem Kunden)     (die Mitarbeiter...) vorstellen
present  (to the customer)    (the employees)

Or, in plain English:

first introduce the employees to the customer.


Grammar:

In German, the order of the various objects (here: accusative and dative) is not fixed. Both

  • (dem Kunden) (die Mitarbeiter...) vorstellen

and

  • (die Mitarbeiter...) (dem Kunden) vorstellen

works fine.

To decide what is happening in your example, you really need the grammar, that is, you need to determine in which case each element is and what case(s) vorstellen needs.

((Jdm) etw/jdn) vorstellen can take one or two objects, one is mandatory, one optional:

  • mandatory: the party who is introduced or presented, in akkusative.
  • optional: the party he/she/it is introduced to, in dative.

Examples:

Apple stellt [sein neues Produkt] vor. -> accusative only
Apple stellt [der Presse] [sein neues Produkt] vor. -> dative and accusative
Apple stellt [sein neues Produkt] [der Presse] vor. -> accusative and dative
But NOT: Apple stellt [der Presse] vor. -> dative only doesn't work!

So in your sentence:

...
zuerst dem Kunden (-> dative) die Mitarbeiter...(-> akkusative) vorstellt,
dann den Mitarbeitern (-> dative) den Kunden (-> akkusative).

| improve this answer | |
  • @Stephie Sie sind ein Engel. – DSaad May 6 '15 at 20:32
  • @Stephie Als würde ich einem Link folgen O:-) – Jan May 7 '15 at 17:13

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