1

I got this wrong on my German homework:

Ich bereite mir auf den Tag an der Uni vor.

since our German book states:

Reflexivpronomen stehen normalerweise im Akkusativ. Gibt es eine Akkusativergänzung, steht das Reflexivpronomen im Dativ.

"auf den Tag" is the Akkusativergänzung, so I used the dative reflexive pronoun. It can't refer to "an der Uni", since even if you leave that part out, the solution is still the same.

Given what our book says, I don't understand why the correct solution is

Ich bereite mich auf den Tag an der Uni vor.

I made two other mistakes:

Ich versuche mir auf die Vorlesung zu konzentrieren.

since "auf die Vorlesung" is accusative as well (thus I'd use the dative) and

Ich vertiefe mir in den Wirtschaftsteil der gestrigen Zeitung.

since "in den Wirtschaftsteil" is accusative.

Are those all exceptions that the book missed? Or am I missing something?

3

Note that not all accusatives are accusative objects. Two examples of accusatives that are not accusative objects are accusatives governed by prepositions and temporal accusatives.

Ich habe mich sehr über das Geschenk gefreut. (Präpositionalobjekt)
Du bewegst dich in die richtige Richtung. (direktionale Angabe)

Ich halte mich nicht den ganzen Tag im Fitnessstudio auf. (temporale Angabe)

The examples you gave only have one nominal object (nominale Ergänzung), which is the reflexive pronoun. Therefore, the rule your book gave you holds and the pronoun is in the accusative.

The rule correctly predicts the dative in examples such as the following, where we have two nominal objects.

Ich kann mir das nicht merken.
Hast du dir das ausgedacht?

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  • Thanks!! That makes way more sense now! – saltycracker23 Mar 10 at 20:59

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