I am having hard time understanding why "Wohnung" was made an indirect object instead of a direct object in that sentence. I saw this on Dw German.

  • One of many quite closely related questions.
    – guidot
    Jun 20, 2020 at 13:57
  • Key words: two-way prepositions, Wechselpräpositionen
    – David Vogt
    Jun 20, 2020 at 14:52
  • 2
    Just to make it clear: Wohnung is not an indirect object in this sentence.It's part of an adverbial of place.
    – RHa
    Jun 20, 2020 at 18:20
  • There's no object in this sentence at all.
    – tofro
    Jun 23, 2020 at 10:10
  • Wohnen doesn't take an object at all. Bewohnen does: Ich bewohne eine Wohnung (accusative). Jun 23, 2020 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


Dativ should be used in this case, because the word 'Wohnung' is after a preposition. Some prepositions require a specific case, e.g. mit + Dativ or wegen + Genetiv. Other predispositions can be followed by both Akkusativ or Dativ, so called Wechselpräpositionen. Normally, if the verb is associated with a movement, you'd use Akkusativ after the preposition (e.g. after laufen, gehen) and if the verb is not associated with a movement, like in this sentence - Dativ.

  • You might say 'in ( + dative)' = 'within' while 'in ( + accusative)' = 'into'. There are some meanings of 'in' not covered by this, e.g. 'Sie ist schön in meinen Augen.', 'Ich gehe ins Bett.' But within/into seems to work (awkwardly perhaps) most of the time.
    – RDBury
    Jun 22, 2020 at 1:56

A preposition + Dativ may describe locations, a preposition + accusative directions. Forget about direct and indirect objects.

  • Added the information. Jun 20, 2020 at 17:27
  • There are indirect objects in German, but a lot of other stuff requires the dative. Der Mann bindet dem Hund die Leine um. 1) der Mann --> Nominative 2) dem Hund --> Dative 3) die Leine --> Accusative
    – Masatwwo
    Jun 20, 2020 at 17:41
  • 1
    Seems that learners of German whose native language is English are often taught that German uses dative for indirect objects. This is not completely wrong, and maybe helpful in the short run, but in the long run it's a source of a lot of confusion. There are several questions on SE German dealing with this.
    – RHa
    Jun 20, 2020 at 18:25

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