I was doing an exercise in German Grammar drill. I found a sentence like that has two accusatives. Are they really accusatives?

Meine Tante stellte den Blumenstrauß auf den Tisch

"auf" is also dative preposition as I know.

  • 2
    Could you extend your question to explain why you think there cannot be two accusatives in one sentence? That might help us provide an answer that actually addresses your concrete difficulty in understanding the grammar. Sep 10, 2017 at 19:57
  • As I know there are always one accusative and one dative. Only for some case there will be two accusatives. Like lehre. Will you please help me regarding this question? Thank you
    – user29760
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


There is no such rule there can only be one accusative per clause.

Meine Tante stellte den Blumenstrauß auf den Tisch.

My aunt put the bouquet onto the table.

What's true is there can only be one accusative object per clause. And you only have one: den Blumenstrauß. It's the thing put.

Auf den Tisch in contrary is a prepositional object, because it has a preposition leading it. And auf is one of the nine dual-way prepositions (an, auf, hinter, neben, in, über, unter, vor, zwischen) which may take either accusative or dative, depending on whether a direction or a place is meant. It depends on the verb whether you need a direction, a place or have free choice.

Stellen in the meaning "to put" requires a direction. When it takes a place or has no prepositional object at all, it means "to corner".

  • 4
    There are even verbs that take two accusatives where none of them is a prepositional object, see here.
    – Uwe
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:33
  • In that question it's an subject predicative (S is SP to O), not an object of its own.
    – Janka
    Sep 10, 2017 at 22:02
  • 5
    Your assertion [w]hat's true is there can only be one accusative object per clause is not entirely true. A few verbs like lehren can have two accusative objects (and none of them is a predicativum), e.g. sie lehrt den Schüler den Gebrauch des Akkusativobjekts.
    – mach
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:24
  • A clause with two accusative objects: Es hat mich einen Euro gekostet Sep 15, 2017 at 21:20
  • Es hat mich ein Euro gekostet also uninflected zwanzig, prepositional Es hat mich einiges an Kraft gekostet, dialectally correct Es hat mich'en Kopf gekostet; den may be plausible as voiced variant of LowG. t, HighG. z, in the sense of French de "of" (cp. in Names ten Brink, Zimbrink, du Mont, von und zu Guttenberg).
    – vectory
    Dec 8, 2023 at 14:51

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