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I was doing German grammatical exercises and came across this sentence:

Er nimmt dem Kind den Ball weg.

I know "wegnehmen" means "to take away",but I thought it should be:

Er nimmt aus/von dem Kind den Ball weg

To my knowledge, Dative case alone has the meaning "to/towards sb/sth",and since the man didn't throw the ball to the kid; instead, he took it away from the kind, so I thought there should be a preposition "aus/von" to make the sentence clear.

However this is obviously wrong, but I can't figure it out.

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    There is nothing to figure out. It's simply jemandem (dat) etwas (acc) wegnehmen. No other prepositions required or, in fact, permitted. (I suppose it could be argued that there's movement towards the taker, if you really must.) – Ingmar May 5 '17 at 4:28
  • To extend on @Ingmars claim that no preposition is allowed: etwas von etwas wegnehmen is only possible in case you take something from a collection of items: "Ich habe eins von den Bonbons weggenommen" - Which obviously doesn't make sense with the kid and the ball. – tofro May 5 '17 at 6:56
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To my knowledge, Dative case alone has the meaning "to/towards sb/sth"

You are thinking about this in too literal a way.

Dative case expresses that an action is conducted in such a way that the dative object is involved in it, although not directly the target of the action. In a way, it is the action that is "brought to" the dative object, no matter which direction the action literally describes. Add to that that the distinction can, at times, be blurry.

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Here is the error of your analysis.

Dative case alone has the meaning "to/towards sb/sth",and since the man didn't throw the ball to the kid

This is false. You just have to learn by heart jemandem (D) etwas (A) wegnehmen.

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For the easy part: 'aus' would mean you are taking it from the inside.

But you do not use 'aus/von' because 'dem Kind' is used as the object here. If you would use 'von dem Kind' 'den Ball' would be the object and 'dem Kind' an adverb.

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