65 votes
Accepted

If we say "Frankfurt am Main" why do we have "Frankfurt an der Oder"?

It is because Main is masculine, while Oder is feminine. Then, an in this meaning is locative (where is it?), so one should use dative. Therefore: Frankfurt am Main = Frankfurt an dem Main (because ...
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52 votes
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In German, can I have a sentence with multiple cases?

You seem to have had a misunderstanding about what case is. Case is not an attribute of a sentence, but the attribute of a noun phrase, which is a part of a sentence. This is the analysis of your ...
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38 votes
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Accusative vs Dative: "Schau in der/die Schublade!"

The confusion here comes from omitting a small word: Schau in der Schublade nach. Hence, in this example, the verb is nachschauen, in the other example it is schauen. These differ a bit in ...
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  • 2,236
30 votes
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Why was "ein" used here after a masculine plural noun?

That ein at the end of the sentence corresponds to the ein contained in the separable verb einsetzen. There is no relation to articles whatsoever. Moreover, unlike other languages (Polish, French, ...
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  • 30.4k
26 votes

If we say "Frankfurt am Main" why do we have "Frankfurt an der Oder"?

Because in German river names have various genders. Some rivers a masculine, some are femine. So it is der Main but die Oder and thus "am Main" (= an dem Main) but "an der Oder".
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  • 11.4k
23 votes
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Why "alle Tale" and not "alle Täler"?

The German language has a variety of nouns that carry two plural forms. There is Land, Länder, Lande, Tuch, Tücher, Tuche, and Wort, Wörter, Worte. The first plural form collects several independent ...
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22 votes

Dativ or Akkusativ?

The question is '(the goddess) of whom?' or 'whose (godess)?', it is asking for possession. Consequently 'dieser Schule' is genitive.
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  • 5,917
21 votes
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What is the logic behind the sentence "Sieh es dir an"

There is a slight difference between etwas ansehen and sich etwas ansehen. The difference is that the reflexive version (sich etwas ansehen) is used to emphasize on the activeness of the looking. ...
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  • 758
21 votes

Why does this relative pronoun not take the case of the noun it is referring to?

Jeden Morgen tritt Jack Nicholson meinen kleinen Hund, der mich immer wütend macht. A relative pronoun must match the gender of its antecedent. In the given sentence, der is masculine and there are ...
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  • 22.2k
20 votes

Why is the size written in accusative?

This so-called accusative of measure (Akkusativ des Maßes) stands with certain adjectives such as groß, breit, hoch, weit, schwer. Some examples: Sie dachte einen Augenblick lang nach. Einen Tag ...
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  • 22.2k
20 votes
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When showing interest in people, how is the gender inferred?

There is no masculine or feminine form of the interrogative pronoun "Wer". It applies to all three genders as long as a person is meant. (Similarly, "Was" applies to all three ...
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18 votes
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Grammatikalische Form von "echter deutscher Honig"?

Das ist Nominativ, Deklination ohne Artikel. Das Deutsche verfügt über drei Deklinationstabellen für Adjektive: mit dem bestimmten Artikel, mit dem unbestimmten Artikel und mit dem Nullartikel. Das ...
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  • 8,656
18 votes
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How should I choose between “Welcher” (Nominative) and “Welchen” (Accusative)

Maybe this becomes clearer when looking at the corresponding statements: Welcher Mantel sieht besser aus? / Der Mantel[Nom.] sieht besser aus. Welchen Rock trägst du zur Party? / Den Rock[Akk.] ...
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  • 13.4k
18 votes
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Was ist eigentlich der Unterschied zwischen Kabarett und Comedy?

Der Comedian macht es wegen dem Geld, der Kabarettist macht es wegen des Geldes. Jetzt klarer? Der Comedian wendet sich an ein "weniger gebildetes" Publikum, dem es egal ist, ob nun Dativ oder ...
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  • 46.4k
18 votes
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In the sentence "Ich begegnete einem alten Freund in Berlin", why the dative einem instead of the accusative einen?

There is a broad rule of thumb to translate English direct objects to German Akkusativ objects and English indirect objects to German Dativ objects, but it's no more than that, a rule of thumb. There ...
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  • 17k
18 votes
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Why "Ihre" and not "Ihrer"?

Using the genitive is one method to express possession: Barbaras Katze war krank. Die Katze des Königs war krank. However, we also have possessive pronouns to do the same job, and these don't ...
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17 votes

What are the syntactical parts of “Ich bin ein Berliner”?

ein Berliner is in Nominativ since it is a Gleichsetzungsnominativ (predicate noun). You don’t ask Wen oder was bin ich? but instead you do ask Wer oder was bin ich? Have a look at ...
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17 votes

"Ich sehn' mich nach der Isar Strand." — Why not "dem"?

Short answer Ich sehn' mich nach der Isar Strand. Here, der Isar is a so-called preposed genitive that prececdes the dative noun Strand. Long answer Construction with dative The phrase sich nach ...
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17 votes
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How is "sein" conjugated in this sub-sentence?

The verb ist is 3rd person singular, which is the form that always occurs when the verb has no subject argument. Ist Ihnen heiß, schwindelig, schlecht? Are you hot, dizzy, sick? In the above ...
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  • 22.2k
17 votes

Dativ or Akkusativ?

It is neither accusative nor dative. It is a genitive attribute inside a nominal phrase which is in nominative case. The question is not whom? but whose? (wessen?) Wessen Schutzgottheit ist Hanako? ...
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16 votes

Would combining all German articles to just one article have a real negative effect on the language?

In cases where the article is nominative and just there to define the gender of the noun: Yes, there would be very small effects to the language. But as stated in the comments: Some times the article ...
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  • 8,714
16 votes
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Why `Dem Computer` and not `Der Computer`?

Notice that in German, the subject that goes with the verb fehlen is the thing that is missing/ lacking/ absent/ not present, and the dative object refers to the thing that "feels" or is impaired by ...
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15 votes
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Präposition "an": Dativ oder Akkusativ?

Nein. Die Präposition an steht je nach Verwendung entweder mit Dativ oder mit Akkusativ. Als Grundregel gilt bei solchen "Wechselpräpositionen": Antwortet die Phrase auf die Frage "wo?" (Ortsangabe - ...
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  • 13.2k
15 votes

Sign of the Cross – case of “Im Namen”

The preposition in in German always governs two cases, meaning it can take both the accusative and the dative cases, but not all at once, of course. As a general rule, in + accusative is used when ...
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15 votes
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Why do these sentences have different case despite being otherwise identical?

German has four cases (nominative, accusative, dative and genitive). Which case an object receives depends on the verb and has to be learned. We have an excellent list of verbs with a dative object. ...
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  • 22.2k
14 votes

»🚜 dürfen überholt werden«

Das ist kein Futur, sondern Passiv: Es ist (ja wem eigentlich?) erlaubt, die Traktoren zu überholen. Setzt man die Konstruktion ins Passiv, dann ...dürfen die Traktoren überholt werden und ...
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  • 23.7k
14 votes
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Was ist richtig: „viele anderen Fragen“ oder „viele andere Fragen“?

Wichtig für die Deklination von Adjektiven ist der Fall des Substantivs, ob das Substantiv singular oder plural ist, das Genus des Artikels und ob es einen bestimmten Artikel oder unbestimmten Artikel ...
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  • 8,356
14 votes
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"VW kauft Porsche" - Wer kauft hier wen?

Theoretisch kann man in solchen Fällen in der Tat nicht einwandfrei feststellen, wer Subjekt und wer Objekt ist. Praktisch kann man allerdings davon ausgehen, dass das Subjekt so gut wie immer an ...
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  • 3,012
14 votes
Accepted

Warum ist es "du kannst dir nicht vorstellen" und nicht "du kannst dich nicht vorstellen"?

Those are two very different meanings of the verb vorstellen. sich[reflexive, dat] etwas[acc] vorstellen - to imagine/picture something; This use always requires both a dative reflexive pronoun and ...
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