Should one necessarily learn, when a verb goes with a dative object and when with an accusative one, or can it be deduced?
How to determine if a verb in question induces *accusative or dative? If there are direct objects and indirect objects, they are associated accusative and dative respectively (kind of tautological):
Ich schenke dir einen Wagen
[dir ist hier das indirekte Objekt; ein Wagen das direkte Objekt]
But first, “direct and indirect” objects are not a natural concept in German. And, more importantly, not all verbs are so easily managed. I’m after hints that can make me save lot of time learning which verb goes with which case (if there are rules at all).
What to do if there is only one object? For sake of concreteness, let’s take two verbs, say, antworten und fragen which seem to be not very different: one asks a question to somebody and one answers a question to somebody. However, the first governs dative and the second accusative:
Antworten Sie mir!
How does one know that antworten goes with dative (has a indirect object-like) while fragen with accusative?