1

I encountered this sentence recently and it confounds me: "Warten Sie auf mich?" as in "Do you wait for me?". Since we have a two-way preposition and because there is no motion in this sentence, I was under the impression that it would be "Warten Sie auf mir?". Why don't we use the dative case here?

  • 13
    Only if the other person is sitting on you. – Carsten S Aug 28 '17 at 20:38
  • 2
    @CarstenS but in that situation I recommand to say "Würden SIe bitte von mir runtergehen?" instead of "Warten Sie auf mir?" otherwise it could be understood as sarcasm. Politeness clearly is the key to success in such a situation. – ikadfoanhfda Aug 28 '17 at 23:46
  • @ikadfoanhfda: "Warten Sie auf mir?" sounds more like an offer or invitation to me. Thue, it implies a different context compared to "Würden Sie bitte von mir runtergehen?" – O. R. Mapper Aug 29 '17 at 4:53
  • 2
    You're overinterpreting the rule of thumb for prepositions. Most directional prepositions take the accusative and most locative ones the dative, but the opposite isn't true: not every accusative expresses a direction. This is inevitable because we have only four cases, but many more basic concepts than that. – Kilian Foth Aug 29 '17 at 5:50
  • 1
    And not one comment that in Berlin "warten se uff mir?" would be absolutely correct – Marakai Aug 29 '17 at 6:22
9

"Auf ... warten" (meaning "to wait for ...") takes always the accusative case in German. The dative case would indicate that you stand or sit somewhere while waiting, say, "Ich warte auf der Bank (dat.) auf dich (akk.)", meaning "I wait for you sitting on the bench".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.