Why do we use "dem Bus" with "fahren" where "dem Bus" is Dativ and "fahren" is Akkusativ.

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    We don't. You've probably omitted a preposition from your example - prepositions are also words that induce case in other words. – Kilian Foth Feb 24 '18 at 6:34
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    I would be helpful you if also say us the sentence which you have in mind. – Eller Feb 24 '18 at 8:03
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    BTW "fahren" is not Akkusativ. "Fahren" is a verb and verbs have no grammatical cases. – Eller Feb 24 '18 at 8:05
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    What exctly are you talking about? Tell us a sentence where you believe, that Bus is in dative case while fahren is accusative. Your Questions is useless without an example. – Hubert Schölnast Feb 24 '18 at 10:31
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    @userunknown Genau anders herum: man fragt nach einem Dativ-Objekt mit 'Wem? - Dem Bus." und nach einem Akkusativ-Objekt mit "Wen oder was? - Den Bus". – Arsak Feb 26 '18 at 7:49

Indeed the sentence where the word "Bus" is used with the verb "fahren" would be:

Ich fahre den Bus.

This sentence (which means that I am the driver of the bus and not a passenger) clearly uses accusative.

In your example however the word "Bus" belongs to the word "mit" and not to the verb "fahren" itself:

Ich fahre mit dem Bus.

As far as I know the word "mit" is always formed with a dative - independent of the verb used.


A verb itself never stands in any grammatical case.

The verb is the ruler of the sentence, and it dictates which cases its complements must have.

All verbs need a subject as one of its complements, and this subject is always in nominative case:

Klaus schläft.
Dieter fährt.

And all verbs can have additional complements, and for some verbs additional complements are mandatory.

Anna gedenkt der Toten.
Das Buch gehört der Bibliothek.
Das neue Kleid passt.
Das neue Kleid passt meiner Frau.
Hans fährt.
Hans fährt einen Diesel.

  • »gedenken« needs a mandaroty subject in nominative case (»Anna«) and a mandatory genitive object (»der Toten«)
  • »gehören« needs a mandaroty subject in nominative case (»das Buch«) and a mandatory dative object (»der Bibliothek«)
  • »passen« needs a mandaroty subject in nominative case (»das neue Kleid«) and it can have an optional dative object (»meiner Frau«)
  • »fahren« needs a mandaroty subject in nominative case (»Hans«) and it can have an optional accusative object (»einen Diesel«)

Most verbs also can have prepositional objects

Berta geht in den Keller.
Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch.
Hans denkt an einen Apfel.
Susanne fährt mit dem Bus.

The parts »in den Keller«, »auf dem Tisch«, »an einen Apfel« and »mit dem Bus« are prepositional objects. They consist of a preposition and an Object in dative or accusative case, that is embedded in the prepositional objects. The case of this inner object is not determined by the verb. Inside a prepositional object the preposition determines the case of the inner object.

In the examples above »in«, »an« and »auf« can take their complements in both cases, but with different meanings. This can be limited by the verb (»denken an« needs accusative, but »befestigen an« can come with both cases). »Mit« always needs its complement in dative case.

And many verbs allow multiple complements:

Gerd gönnt sich in seinem Schaukelstuhl ein Gläschen Wein.

Here the verb gönnen has four complements:

  • Gerd
    mandatory subject in nominative case
  • sich
    mandatory accusative object
  • in seinem Schaukelstuhl
    optional prepositional object
  • sich
    mandatory dative object

Sometimes there can also be two complements in the same case:

Der Angeklagte ist ein Lügner.

Both, »der Angeklagte« and »ein Lügner« are in nominative case. (One is the subject, the other is an object)

Der Staatsanwalt nennt den Angeklagten einen Lügner.

Here »den Angeklagten« and »einen Lügner« are both accusative objects.

  • in seinem Schaukelstuhl is not a prepostional object but an adverbial because it describes the place where the action takes place and can be used with almost any verb that describes some action. For the difference between adverbial an prepositional object see e.g. cafe-lingua.de/deutsche-grammatik/… – RHa Feb 25 '18 at 11:56

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