I found this sentence in a magazine:

Herr Minister, sind Sie mit den Ergebnissen des EU-Gipfels am 28. und 29. Juni in Brüssel zufrieden?

I understand this as:

Minister, are you happy with the EU-Summit outcomes in Brussels on the 28 and 29 of July?

However I am struggling with the article of Ergebnis. It appears to plural, and in the accusative case (it is the direct object of the sentence).

My German book tells me that a plural accusitive noun should be die, not den. What is going on here?


It's not accusative case there. The preposition "mit" always asks for dative case.

Mit, von, zu bei, nach, ab, aus, ausser, seit always ask for dative case.

Background: A long time ago in the proto-indoeuropean time, people used cases to express location, direction, instrumentation (with what item are you doing the action). The Italic languages lost all of the cases. They kept cases in the pronouns though.

The interesting difference however between the Germanic languages and the Italic ones is that whereas Italic languages moved a lot of "ancient" cases to accusative, the Germanic languages moved only a part of "ancient" cases to accusative, and other "ancient" ones to dative - that's why you can get dative where you expect to get an accusative case.

  • The case here could also be a confusion of plural dative masc. and neuter with singular accusative masculine.
    – Speravir
    Apr 16 '13 at 22:21
  • Yes, plural dative and singular acusative masculine are declined the same way. But of course you can tell by "Ergebnissen" that the meaning is for plural. I think there can be collisions, but i'm not aware of any (especially because the dative plural nouns always end in an 'n') Apr 17 '13 at 7:55

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