1

If I register something in a database, is this dative or accusative?

  1. Ich trage die Daten in die Tabelle ein.
  2. Ich trage die Daten in der Tabelle ein.

I have noticed that the verb sehen has also dative and accusative.

  1. Ich sehe die Information in die Tabelle.
  2. Ich sehe die Information in der Tabelle.

Could someone explain me when should I use dative and accusative with verbs like this, not with obvious verbs like gehen/stellen/liegen/legen/sitzen…, but with not so obvious verbs. Could you please give me other examples, when not so obvious verbs take the Akkusativ?

5

In both your examples it is not so much the verb, that rules the case, but rather the preposition.

"in" goes with both dative and accusative -

Dative is used for static past movement - Something has been moved somewhere and now stays there.

Ich trage die Daten in der Tabelle ein

Focuses more on the data now being in the table.

Accusative is used to describe movement towards something

Ich trage die Daten in die Tabelle ein

Focuses more on the movement of the data into the table.

A better example would maybe be

Ich halte den Ball in die Luft

Accusative tells us the ball is being moved into the air.

Ich halte den Ball in der Luft

Dative tells us the ball is being held statically in the air.

(See how "into" in the English sentence does the same thing as accusative in German, and "in" the same as dative? Occurrence of "in" and "into" can tell you whether it needs to be dative or accusative in German)

Your second example does not work with accusative, it's just wrong, just as "I see the data into the table" would be wrong in English. ("I see sth. somewhere" does not involve movement).

  • 1
    I think “I see the data into the table” is actually possible, if you take the data by their hands and lead them into the table ;) – Carsten S May 1 '16 at 12:23
  • 1
    @CarstenS Grammar-wise yes, but I'd like to see you doing that ;) – tofro May 1 '16 at 12:57

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