I am learning via Duolingo and struggling to understand why this was the correct answer:

Ich habe einen Hut, seit du einen Hut hast.

Why is it “… du einen Hut hast” and not “du einem Hut hast”?

I thought seit triggered the dative case

  • 2
    Seit is not only a preposition but also a conjunction.
    – Jan
    Jul 6, 2016 at 1:49
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    – Jan
    Jul 6, 2016 at 1:49

2 Answers 2


Seit is not only a preposition. It can be one, but it doesn’t have to be. If it is a preposition, it governs dative. But if it is, then its government only extends to the first noun expression following. If it were a preposition in your example, its effect would only concern du.

But, as I mentioned, seit is also a temporal conjunction. In this case, it cannot govern any cases since it is merely introducing a subordinate clause. The subordinate clause’s word order will be determined by standard grammar rules and the verb governs the relevant nouns’ cases.

Both usages can also come together in a single sentence (although that is uncommon):

Seit{conjunction} ich von der seit{preposition} einigen Tagen geltenden Vorschrift erfahren habe, …


"Seit" triggers dative case, yes. But "einen Hut" does not belong to "seit" here, it belongs to "hast" (-> "haben"). Und "haben" needs accusative case. See the first part of the sentence - "ich habe einen Hut".

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