4

Ich bin der Meinung, dass ... .

Ich bin der Ansicht, dass ... .

What is the case in the above examples?

  • It's not dative, it's genitive. – RHa Oct 29 '19 at 17:13
  • @RHa How come?????? – Sasan Oct 29 '19 at 17:18
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    @Sasan Why did you think it was dative? Can you please edit your post and explain? That makes it easier for us to understand where the misconception came from and thus, to help you. – Arsak Oct 29 '19 at 18:45
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    Compare "be of the opinion". – Carsten S Oct 29 '19 at 19:04
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These are predicative genitives. This used to be a productive feature of several Indo-European languages and hence appears to be a very old phenomenon (Dal/Eroms 2014: 31). If you read even relatively recent literary material like Schiller plays, you will encounter this quite frequently. Note that predicative genitives could/can serve different functions. Compare:

  • Die Rache, die mich verfolgt, ist nicht des irdischen Richters (...) (Goethe, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) ("genitivus possessivus");
  • Elisabeth ist meines Stammes, meines Geschlechts und Ranges (...) (Schiller, Maria Stuart) ("genitivus qualitatis").

Today, predicative genitives can be found only in certain fixed contexts, such as einer Ansicht/Meinung/Auffassung/Überzeugung/... sein (= be of an opinion/view/conviction/...); des Wahnsinns sein (= be mad); gleicher Art/gleichen Typs/... sein (= be of the same kind); guter Dinge sein (= be in good spirits); etc. You would usually learn about such phrases as part of your language studies or from a dictionary.

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