I've been reading when there's two substantives, the dative case comes first, then the accusative's. But I came across these two examples:

Ich suche ein Zimmer in einer WG

Ich suche ein Flugticket nach Neuseeland

Why in these two cases, the accusative comes first?

  • The rule is only about dative and accusative objects. What you have here is prepositional phrases in the dative case. Jan 15, 2018 at 8:25
  • 1
    "Dative before accusative" is in no way a strict rule, BTW. It's just more common. "Ich gebe den Ball dem Hund" and "Ich gebe dem Hund den Ball" are functionally close to equivalent and both correct.
    – tofro
    Jan 15, 2018 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


Sorry for my layman explanation, but there's no dative substantive in those examples you give.

Just the order of substantives appearing in a german sentence, doesn't automatically identify these as accusative or dative substantives.

To cite wikipedia (probably not the best resource here):

Als Test zum Nachweis eines Akkusativ-Objekts dient im Deutschen die Frage Wen oder was?

That would match the terms "Flugticket" and "Zimmer" in your examples.

But I can't spot a dative case, which would be defined as (wikipedia again)

Für den Dativ wird im Deutschen die Frage Wem? benutzt.

The substantives appearing in those parts "nach Neuseeland", "in einer WG" aren't dative subjectives, but merely additional attributions to the accusative substantives, and thus naturally are placed after the related accusative substantives.

  • I was pretty confused here about that, I 'swear' they were datives. You were pretty clear, thanks!
    – humble
    Jan 15, 2018 at 3:05
  • @humble I mentioned that weird sounding "Yoda Grammar" "Nach Neuseeland ein Flugticket suche ich." in my 1st comment ;-). Jan 15, 2018 at 3:08

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