In the sentence

Dieser Laptop gehört mir nicht.

Should it be diesen or dieser? I am confused because I would think you would have to use diesen because of gehört, but apparently that's wrong.

I am thinking it is because "Gehört mir nicht" is dative and not accusative.

  • 1
    What is the subject of the sentence?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 9:15
  • 1
    I added the tag nominative, as this is the correct answer. Note, that dative would be "diesem" with an M, i.e. "diesem Laptop". Also, the verb does not matter at all as we're talking about the subject. The subject is always in nominative case. "Gehört mir nicht" is not dative, the only part which is dative is the object "mir".
    – Em1
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 10:03

2 Answers 2


In this case the demonstrative pronoun has to be in nominative and thus be dieser.
Though, in German the noun Laptop can either be masculine or neutral, so both dieser and dieses would be correct.

  • 2
    I'm a german native speaker and have never hear das Laptop.
    – raznagul
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 9:21
  • 3
    @raznagul I've heard it a couple of times, but 'der Laptop' is definitely predominantly. According to the Duden both is correct.
    – Ultus
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 9:29
  • One way to determine the correct form if you're having difficulty would be to consider which pronoun you would use to replace laptop. For example, in English you would say: "It belongs to me." In German: "Er/es gehört mir." Clearly, the pronoun is 1st person singular masculine. Thus, the corresponding demonstrative should fit that pattern too. Apparently in this situation, "der Laptop" is preferable.
    – Ian Taylor
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 17:14

You have to use the nominative case (1st case), because Laptop is the subject of the sentence and dies/er is a demonstrative adjective.

Correct is:

Dieser Laptop gehört mir.

diesen would be accusative (4th case).

Declication table of dieser, diese, dies:

           nominative genitive dative  accusative
           ---------- -------- ------  ----------
masculine  dieser     dieses   diesem  diesen
feminine   diese      dieser   dieser  diese
neuter     dieses     dieses   diesem  dieses
plural     diese      dieser   diesen  diese

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