Will it be grammatically correct to write:

Ich kaufe einen Blumenstrauß für meine Frau.

Instead of:

Ich kaufe meiner Frau einen Blumenstrauß.

Because in English one says " I am buying a bouquet of flowers for my wife". Can für be replaced with the dative case? Or will it not sound German?

  • 1
    Blumenstrauß! :) Jan 10, 2014 at 2:16
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    @RienNeVaPlus "einen Strauß Blumen" would be fine as well.
    – Em1
    Jan 10, 2014 at 9:13
  • @DerPolyglott33 In English it's fine so say "I bought my wife flowers" as well.
    – Em1
    Jan 10, 2014 at 9:13
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    Don't you also have both versions in English? "I am buying my wife a bouquet of flowers". It should at least work with "myself" and such: "I bought myself a car" and "I bought a car for myself"
    – Sentry
    Jan 10, 2014 at 10:41
  • @Em1 ja, kann man das auch sagen Jan 12, 2014 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


The way you've done it, it is perfectly fine.

One slight difference is the use cases:

The first one refers a little more to the action itself:

A: Ich bin in der Stadt B: Was machst du da? A: Ich kaufe einen Blumenstrauß für meine Frau.

The second one refers a little more to the intention:

B: Euer Hochzeitstag ist morgen: Was hast du geplant? A: Ich kaufe meiner Frau einen Blumenstrauß.

However both can be used in both cases.

  • 2
    I don't agree with your explanation of the use case difference. I think the first one actually emphasizes that you're buying flowers for your wife, while the second emphasizes the action and not the intention. Either there are regional differences or it's just not as clear as you think. Jan 10, 2014 at 9:33
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    @OregonGhost As I said: It is the slightest of a difference and both cases are corrcet. That indeed probalby depends on where one lives.
    – Mark
    Jan 10, 2014 at 9:37
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    "he slight difference is in the emphasis, which is always stronger on words earlier in the sentence." please please please... delete that line. It is the old lore that emphasis is put on whatever comes first. That is not so. At least by far not always as you suggest. Also, I don't get the last example. What is it supposed to illustrate. I can also say "Meiner Frau kaufe ich Blumen."
    – Emanuel
    Jan 10, 2014 at 10:42
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    @Emanuel agreed, to much storytelling, to few objective info: redacted.
    – Mark
    Jan 10, 2014 at 10:55

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