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I can't see a difference in meaning between the two sentences. Using a dativus incommodi instead of putting the hurting thing as subject into the sentence doesn't change the meaning to me. It's just expressing the same thing with two different grammatical vehicles. Obviously, the dative is inevitable when the acting body part is not hurting yourself, but ...


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Is it because "sie" remains "sie" in akkusativ, and only changes to "ihr" in Dativ? Exactly. Each verb allows a set of objects, and you just have to know with each verb which case these objects have to be in. It's not as hard as it sounds at first, because there are some patterns to it, but it's still quite a bit to learn I ...


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