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Ok, I don't get this.

ich lade sie in mein Lieblingsrestaurant ein

This is what I know:

  • "Mein" is a possessive article.
  • Restaurant is "neuter" (das Restaurant)
  • For "einladen", the person who I am inviting is in accusative, and the place where I am going is in dative (there is no movement involved)
  • The neutrum dative for the possessive article is "meinem" (meinem Kind: To my child)

So why is it using "mein" instead of "meinem"?? Did I get an assumption wrong?

2 Answers 2

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and the place where I am going is in dative […] there is no movement involved

That's two times wrong logic. First, it's not about movement or not. It's about location vs direction. Let me show you with a different example:

Auf dem Marktplatz zeigt ein Wegweiser auf den Brunnen.

Nothing moves it this example. The market square, the signpost, and the standpost are all fixed in place. Yet, we have both a location and a direction. Thus, one auf takes dative, and the other auf takes accusative. (Auf is one of the nine two-way prepositions that function that way.) You could also rephrase as

Auf dem Marktplatz zeigt ein Wegweiser zum Brunnen.

That piece zum Brunnen is still a direction. As the preposition zu always marks a direction though it always takes dative.

Second, you have to remember for each verb whether it takes a location, a direction, or either. There is no way to tell what einladen wants from looking at the verb gehen for example.

The verb einladen can take both, but the place where you want to go to is a direction. While the place where you offer the invitation is a location.

And that's why it must be

Ich lade sie in mein Lieblingsrestaurant ein.

with in+‹Akk›, because you most likely mean that you invite her to your favourite restaurant rather than that you invite her while you are at your favourite restaurant.

Again, you can also have both:

Ich lade sie in meinem Heimatort in mein Lieblingsrestaurant ein.

That means, as soon as you and her are in your hometown, you invite her to your favourite restaurant.

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    The "movement rule" seems to be confusing for a lot of people, thinking it's "movement=accusative". But you can have movement with dative if the movement is going on at or within a location ("Fische schwimmen im Wasser.") and accusative without movement an in this example.) Maybe it would be better to remove any reference to movement and call it the "direction rule"; like you said, it's more about location vs. direction. I think it's a bit more subtle than that, but it's a 100% better than saying it has anything to do with movement.
    – RDBury
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 4:21
  • In short, in + accusative is where you're going to. In + dative is where you are.
    – RHa
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 18:40
  • @RDBury The actual rule is even more tricky. It's only a direction if the thing mentioned is the target hit. Compare Er schießt den Ball ins Tor. vs Er schießt den Ball am Tor vorbei. And again, you can combine both: Er schießt den Ball am Tor vorbei ins Aus.
    – Janka
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 22:25
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You talk about movement. An invitation requires that someone moves. Questions for direction require Akkusativ. Thus the place you are going to is in Akkusative, too. When asking for it, you ask: where to? wohin?

This is different, if you ask for a location. Thus where will you eat, then the location is in Dativ: Wir essen in meinem Lieblingsrestaurant. We eat in my favourite restaurant. Question: where? wo?

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  • "An invitation requires that someone moves." - strictly speaking, if you are already in the restaurant and only decide to invite the person then, dative would be the way to go, but only then. Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 21:06
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    The act of inviting itself does not require movement, no? I mean... the other person could very well reject the invitation, and stay put... Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 21:12
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    Maybe think of it this way: am invitation points at something offered. That gives a direction Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 22:49

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