Can someone explain to me why here the relative pronoun belongs to a different case? Because I don't see the difference between the two sentences ... (that's from an exercise in my German book)

Die Freunde, denen wir im Kino begegneten, waren sehr freundlich. (Plural / dative, right?)

"The friends that we met in the cinema were really nice."

Der Junge, den wir in den Ferien kennengelernt haben, spricht sehr gut Deutsch. (Masculine / accusative, right?)

"The boy that we met on holidays speaks good German."

  • "begegneten haben" is wrong in multiple ways, please check your book again. Also, it's "freundlich".
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 11:34
  • Hey, Thank you for the missing "n". Also my book is an old one (still talks in Deutschmarks) but begegneten is written black on white.. Do you maybe have an answer to my question though ? :)
    – Lisalcz
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 11:40
  • Is it "begegneten haben", though?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 11:42
  • As for the case, the verbs begegnen and kennenlernen require different cases (A good dictionary will tell which). Apart from that, the number is different, because it's several friends in the first sentence and one boy in the second.
    – RHa
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 11:45
  • 1
    No, I just like to see questions in decent shape before they are answered, because the pessimist in me thinks that the chance of a correction goes down once answers have been posted. I am a grumpy old man, sometimes.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


The words begegnen and kennenlernen are different verbs. While both have similar meanings, they go with different cases. It is

jemandem begegnen (Dativ)


jemanden kennenlernen (Akkusativ).

I am afraid that you will have to learn the case together with each verb.

Note that there is another grammatical category for verbs that is related, but not strictly. Verbs that take an accusative object tend to form the perfect tense with "haben":

Ich habe ihn kennengelernt.

On the other hand, the verb begegnen goes with sein:

Ich bin ihm begegnet.

  • Perfekt ! Thank you so much
    – Lisalcz
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 12:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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