Please tell me whether the following is correct. I have read that, in German sentence structure, the order of objects is first dative, then accusative. Now take this sentence:”Ich muss ein Taxi zum Stadion nehmen.” Here, the accusative object “ein Taxi” precedes “zum Stadion” which is in dative. However, this does not break the rule because “zum Stadion” is not an object, but rather a prepositional phrase. Is that correct?
Ich muss ein Taxi zum Stadion nehmen.
This isn't an accusative object followed by a dative object, but a noun accusative object followed by a directional adverbial. You may also see zum Stadion as a complement describing ein Taxi more in detail. Compare last train to London or highway to hell.
You can see that from the preposition zu that leads the noun. It marks a directional adverbial, among other things.
I have read that, in German sentence structure, the order of objects is first dative, then accusative.
This is unfortunately incorrect. The default word order places known information early and new information late. So noun accusative objects go late because they usually convey a new object previously not talked about. Pronoun accusative objects on the other hand go before the dative object as they refer to something previously talked about.
Complicated and too vague? YES! So forget about that too, and follow this recipe:
- a topic of your choice — only in main clauses
- V2 verb — only in main clauses
- pronoun accusative object
- dative object
- temporal adverbial
- causal adverbial
- modal adverbial
- locational adverbial (not directional!)
- noun accusative object
- directional adverbial or prepositional object
- predicate verbs
- an adverbial of your choice or a comparison
This order works for 99% of all clauses.