"Ich wünsche dir einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr" is a nice wish for New Year. But I'm confused - why it's not "ins neuen Jahr"? My reasoning is: "Ich" is Subjekt, "einen guten Rutsch" is Akkusativobjekt, "ins neue Jahr" must be Dativobjekt. Adjective stands before noun and therefore must be declined, and we have definite article in front (in + das = ins) so adjective ending must be -en (like in "Ich helfe einem kleinen Kind"). So, why is "ins neue Jahr" and not "ins neuen Jahr"?

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    The construction you're thinking of would be “Guten Rutsch im neuen Jahr”, which would be gramatically correct but missing the point of the phrase. – leftaroundabout Oct 25 '20 at 23:42
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    The problem with the reasoning is that there can be more than one noun of any case in a sentence. I would call das neue Jahr a "prepositional object" because it's case is governed by a preposition, not the verb. Even without prepositions this reasoning would not work: Ich bin der Arzt. (Two nouns in nominative) Ich treffe dich nächstes Jahr. (Two nouns in accusitive) – RDBury Oct 26 '20 at 2:00

You have to distinguish (at least) two cases with "in". If you're talking about an action inside something, the location of the action, you need the dative:

Er rutscht in der Küche aus.

He slips in the kitchen (inside the kitchen).

If you're talking about an action into something, the direction of the action, you need the accusative:

Er rutscht in die Küche hinein.

He slips / slides into the kitchen.

In your example sentence, you're wishing "a good slide into the new year". Therefore, you need the accusative:

Ich wünsche Dir einen guten Rutsch in das neue Jahr hinein.

Ich wünsche Dir einen guten Rutsch in das neue Jahr.

Ich wünsche Dir einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr.

  • I suggest, to insert location vs. direction somewhere, to have the terms established for searching. – guidot Oct 28 '20 at 8:28
  • @guidot Good point, done :) – Henning Kockerbeck Oct 28 '20 at 10:20

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