I know that dative comes first (besides when there is a personal pronoun which is in the accusative) but -

Er hat einen Termin mit dir sounds better to my ears.

Which is right? or both work? If the latter works, how come the accusative comes before the dative object (which in this case is also a personal pronoun)?

2 Answers 2


Both are correct. Er hat einen Termin mit dir is more common. Er hat mit dir einen Termin puts some emphasis on mit dir.

Mit dir is not an ordinary dative object but a prepositonal object. Prepositional objects usually go after other (non-prepositional) objects but they can placed rather freely, especially for emphasis.

  • 1
    Thanks! So if so - Ich mochte einen Kuchen mit dir essen also works? Or another example - Ich esse einen Kuchen mit dir here it sounds wrong accusative before dative
    – MrsRona
    Jul 19, 2018 at 16:58
  • 3
    It's not dative before accusative. It's dative object before accusative object. This isn't a dative object, but a prepositional object with a preposition which requires the dative.
    – Janka
    Jul 19, 2018 at 18:02
  • @Janka Can you give more examples where a prepositional dative object follows the accusative object?
    – MrsRona
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:27
  • Pretty much always when you have a preposition which requires the dative. Here's an example which has prepositional objects with dative before and after the accusative object: Sie legte an diesem Tag den Weg zur Arbeit mit dem Bus zurück. The only fixed object order is den Weg zur Arbeit. That's fixed because zu is a very "clinging" preposition, even more clinging than mit.
    – Janka
    Jul 20, 2018 at 18:37

Grammatically both variants are fine. Einen Termin haben is somewhat formal, however, and applies to dentist, doctor, car workshop and similar occasions. If you just have an appointment with your friend

Er ist mit dir verabredet

would be a better match. This also avoids the "weak" verb haben, which is too universal and therefore won't be overly appreciated by German teachers.

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