I have this sentence in my workbook:

Ihre Arbeit versteht sie sehr gut.

Shouldn't it be the following?

Ihrer Arbeit versteht sie sehr gut.

To me it appears as the third case – dative.

  • 3
    Could you explain why do you expect dative?
    – c.p.
    Mar 18, 2020 at 21:32
  • Btw, the order of the cases may vary a little bit. I learned them ordered as nominativ, accusativ, genitiv und dativ. It was so roughly until the middle 90s. Since then, I find N-A-D-G ordering everywhere; it might root also in that genitiv shows a decreasing tendency with the decades.
    – peterh
    Mar 19, 2020 at 3:43
  • I was confused by my language. We use dativ in this case. Mar 19, 2020 at 9:56
  • @JohnRonald In which language, if you don't mind to tell, is to understand dative?
    – c.p.
    Mar 19, 2020 at 19:23
  • 1
    As a general rule, verbs with the prefix ver- almost always require the accusative. Of course, sometimes there can be a dative object too.
    – RHa
    Mar 22, 2020 at 21:46

2 Answers 2


The verb verstehen, irrespective of the particular denotation, requires the accusative. For example:

  • Sie versteht ihr Handeln. (singular neuter)
  • Sie versteht ihren Job. (singular male)
  • Sie versteht ihre Arbeit. (singular female)
  • Sie versteht ihre Aufgaben. (plural)
  • Verstehen Sie mich?

Using the dative would be wrong. Thus, the sentence

Ihre Arbeit versteht sie sehr gut.

is correct.


"Ihre Arbeit" is here the object. Here we have an object-verb-subject ordering.

Objects are in accusative (mostly).

  • 1
    German has accusative, dative and genitive objects. (Maybe also nominative objects, depending on the definition of object.)
    – David Vogt
    Mar 19, 2020 at 7:27
  • This answer is correct for the given case in the question. But you should remove that "always" as David Vogt mentions.
    – äüö
    Mar 19, 2020 at 9:28
  • 1
    @äüö I did it..
    – peterh
    Mar 19, 2020 at 9:46
  • @DavidVogt Can you show me an example sentence where the object is not in accusative?
    – peterh
    Mar 19, 2020 at 9:46
  • "Ihrer Arbeit ist sie sich sicher." is such an example for genitive, "Bei ihrer Arbeit ist sie sich sicher" is an example for dative. The demanded grammar case depends on the verb in combination with the used preposition. See for instance german.stackexchange.com/questions/5550/…
    – äüö
    Mar 19, 2020 at 9:57

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