I read somewhere that is written like that and I know this sentence is right.

Er lässt die Elektrofirma das System installieren. (He has the electro firm installed the system.)

But also, I saw somewhere else those two sentence below,

Ich lasse mir die Haare schneiden.
Ich lasse meinem Sohn die Haare schneiden

so my question is. in the first sentence die Elektrofirma is adjusted as Akkusative. Then why do we not do the same rule in other two sentence because they are dativ there. So I would say in the Akkusativ form.

Ich lasse mich die Haare schneiden.
Ich lasse meinen Sohn die Haare schneiden

So which sentences is right here ?

  • Note, that the umlaut is only appearing in 2nd and 3rd person singular, so it has to read Ich lasse....
    – guidot
    Apr 30 '18 at 13:35
  • I edited your title in order to reflect what it seems you're after. Standard format for example sentences begins with a > sign (here we almost never write code) :-)
    – c.p.
    Apr 30 '18 at 13:56

The difference is who does something and who is something done to.

  • The object in Akkusativ is the “active part” - the company doing the installation or the person cutting the hair.
  • The object in Dative is subjective to the action, the receiver.

For your example, if you write

... meinem Sohn...

it’s clear that the child gets his hair cut.

... meinen Sohn...

means that the boy is wielding the scissors and cutting (probably) someone else’s hair.

The same principle applies to

... mir die Haare schneiden vs. ... mich die Haare schneiden.

Although the latter is a bit strange, it implies that you are either permitting or ordering yourself to cut the hair.

And you can of course combine both:

Ich lasse meinen Sohn sich die Haare schneiden.

  • Thanks a lot Stephie, Then can we say both are the right regarding grammatically but the meaning will be different. I mean we can both say those like below Ich lässe mir die Haare schneiden Ich lässe mich die Haare schneiden Ich lässe meinen Sohn die Haare schneiden Ich lässe meinem Sohn die Haare schneiden. Am I right ?
    – Dman
    Apr 30 '18 at 13:37
  • 1
    Actually one could combine both object types in the same sentence: Ich lasse den Friseur meinem Sohn die Haare schneiden. Does that help?
    – guidot
    Apr 30 '18 at 13:38
  • 1
    Assume you have two sons: Ich lasse meinen Sohn meinem Sohn die Haare schneiden ;)
    – tofro
    Apr 30 '18 at 14:05
  • @DenizOrman it’s „lasse“ (ditch the umlaut except for 2nd & 3rd singular). And yes, all four work, sort of. It’s just that „permitting oneself“ only works in some context: „Ich lasse mich aufs Sofa fallen“ is perfectly fine, “Ich lasse mich die Haare schneiden” basically never happens - you either cut your hair yourself or you don’t.
    – Stephie
    Apr 30 '18 at 14:07
  • @tofro LOL... just imagined the results. >.<
    – Stephie
    Apr 30 '18 at 14:07

"lassen" - -can be = erlauben / Der Vater lässt seinen Sohn den Mercedes fahren. Father allows his son to drive his Mercedes. - "veranlassen" = "make" - e.g. a) Der Witz ließ mich lachen. _ The joke made me laugh. / but also the idea of commanding: The officer made the soldiers march- Der Offizier ließ die Soldaten marschieren. - "Lass mich" - meaning just: Leave me alone.

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.