Can someone please explain this:

An so einEM grauEN regnerischEN Tag...

So, Why first Dative and then akkusative, or am I totally out any of this? Why not: An so einEN grauEN regnerischEN Tag...

Thank you!

  • 1
    Short: one m is enough. Long: german.stackexchange.com/questions/25357/…
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 13:29
  • 1
    an + Dative means: "at". "at the House" is "an dem Haus" (which is abbreviated to "am Haus"). an + Acc means: "to". Thus, "an das Haus" means "to the House". Dative means a location, Accusative means a direction. ((not native speaker))
    – peterh
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


This has nothing to do with dative or accusative - What you consider an accusative ending just looks like one but actually isn't. "An" in your example requires the dative.

  1. You very probably have learned that in German, the declension of the adjective has to follow the declension of the substantive it describes, in casus, numerus, genus.
  2. You maybe have learned that there are various declension classes in German (namely strong, weak, mixed). (Please look that up)
  3. You obviously have not learned yet that the presence of an article might influence the choice of declension type:

In a nutshell, the strong declension (and thus the dative ending) is being "absorbed" by the article, and all that's left for the poor adjective is weak or mixed declension.

Die Kerze leuchtet mit schwachem, flackerndem Licht

("mit" requires the dative, no article, "schwach" gets the strong dative declension ending)

Die Kerze leuchtet mit einem schwachen, flackernden Licht

("mit" still requires the dative, article "eats away" the strong declension ending of the adjective, which is now declined "mixed", thus gets an ending that incidentally looks identical to accusative, but still is in dative.)

Your example is very similar, "an" in your example requires the dative (because it does not denote a direction as correctly pointed out in a comment), but the strong declension of the two adjectives is "absorbed" by the article. if you look up mixed declension endings for masculine singular in inflection tables, you'll find that accusative, dative and genitive are identical with "-en".

If you want to look up strong, mixed and weak declension endings, check the inflection tables of your chosen grammar, or have a look here.

  • Definite article declension is different from
  • indefinite article declension is different from
  • adjective declension is different from
  • noun declension is different from
  • pronoun declension

In addition, there are numerous rules when to apply which declension table one but it fortunately boils down to one case marker in the row is sufficient.

  • Can you please explain more detail. I didn't understand what you were saying. The whole sentence is like this: An so einEM grauEN regnerischEN Tag möchte man das Haus gar nicht verlassen. So why EINEM? Why not EINEN?
    – Marius
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 13:49
  • The preposition an can take either a dative supplement, then it's about a place. Or it takes an accusative supplement, then it's about a direction. In space or time, it both applies. The declension table of the indefinite article says dative case, male singular (der Tag) is einem.
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 14:13
  • Yes. I understand that. But why then "grauEN regnerischEN", shouldn't they be also in dative like grauEM regnerischEM?
    – Marius
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 14:39
  • The adjective declension depends on whether the adjectives are prefixed by a definite, an indefinite or no article. If there's an article in front, the dative ending of the adjectives is -en. Without article, the dative ending of the adjectives is -em.
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 16:37

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