possible error

Incorrect: Der Rucksack, in dem ich mein Essen gepackt habe.

Correct: Der Rucksack, in den ich mein Essen gepackt habe.

I don't understand the correction.

Considering there is no movement, I would expect the relative pronoun to be in dative case. But the correct answer seems to be accusative.

1 Answer 1


There was a movement. Your food got into the back after all. "Der Rucksack, in dem ich mein Essen gepackt habe" is possible in theory but it would mean that you have been in the backpack while packing. "Packen" here can be understood as a short form of "etw.[AKK] (in etw. [AKK]) einpacken". So unless you want to refere to the place where you did the packing, you need the Akkusativ.


"Das Haus[NOM], in dem [DAT] ich das Essen [AKK] in den Rucksack [AKK] gepackt habe"

  • I wonder whether OP misinterpreted haben as a main verb, as in for instance ich habe die Ware noch originalverpackt im Regal.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 20:46
  • I did realized that packen was the main verb. It just did not qualify as a movement. I still have a hard time differencing the movement/no-movement verbs.
    – azerty
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 6:40
  • I guess movement/no-movement is misleading anyway. Akkusativ is also needed for changes in the state of being for example.
    – hajef
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 12:21
  • 2
    Instead of movement vs. no movement better think of direction vs location Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 21:46
  • "it would mean that you have been in the backpack while packing." - not necessarily, it would just mean that the food remained within the backpack throughout the described action. That is, if you wanted to describe the situation that you're standing in front of your opened backback, your food is inside that backpack, and you somehow manage to wrap it without taking it out of the backpack, dative would apply, as well. Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 9:38

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