If I want to express a wish to someone, and I say "Ich wünsche mich für Ihnen etw....", is it necessary to use "für", or can I just say, "Ich wünsche mich Ihnen etw....".

In general, is it okay to omit "für" for indirect objects?


First, I would strongly recommend to avoid the term indirect object with respect to German. It may make sense to linguists, but for learners of German it is almost always a source of confusion.

If you wish someone something, the one you wish it is in dative, and the thing you wish is in accusative. Example:

Ich wünsche Ihnen[dat.] eine gute Reise[akk.].

I wish you a nice journey.

You may use für if what you wish is intended for some purpose or some third person. For example:

Ich wünsche Ihnen gutes Wetter für Ihre Reise.

I wish you good weather for your journey.

Ich wünsche mir eine Pflanze für meinen Garten.

I would like to have a plant for my garden.

Für Ihnen is always wrong by the way, because für always requires accusative.

  • 1
    Okay, but my German textbook uses the term "indirect object."
    – Naomi
    Apr 11 '20 at 20:25
  • In some regions of Germany, you find sentences like "Einen schönen Abend für Sie!" instead of "Einen schönen Abend Ihnen!" ("Have a nice evening!"), but as I'm not from one of those regions, I find it strange, so I definitely don't recommend this formulation to non-native speakers, as it doesn't add something new to your capabilities to express something in German... Apr 12 '20 at 8:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.