The German dative case

The dative case shows the indirect object of a sentence—the person or thing indirectly impacted by the action (to whom?).

Articles with the dative

Definite article changes
Masculine Feminine Neutral Plural
dem der dem den

Indefinite article changes
Masculine Feminine Neutral
einem einer einem

Pronouns with the dative

Personal pronoun changes
mir to me
dir to you (informal sing.)
ihm to him
ihr to her
ihm to it
Ihnen to you (formal sing. & pl.)
uns to us
euch to you (informal pl.)
ihnen to them

Possessive pronoun changes
Masculine Feminine Neutral  
meinem meiner meinem my
deinem deiner deinem your (informal sing.)
seinem seiner seinem his
ihrem ihrer ihrem her
seinem seiner seinem its
Ihrem Ihrer Ihrem your (formal sing. & pl.)
unserem unserer unserem our
eurem eurer eurem your (informal pl.)
ihrem ihrer ihrem their

After an adjective

Some adjectives entail a mandatory change to the dative (such as bekannt, lieb, nützlich, treu, etc.)
  • Diese Idee ist ihm sicher bekannt.
  • This idea is surely known to him.

After a preposition

Following certain prepositions, the objects of these prepositions are always in the dative case (such as aus, bei, gegenüber, seit, etc.)
  • Wir fahren mit dem Auto.
  • We are going by car.

After a verb

The dative case is also required after some verbs (such as helfen, gratulieren, folgen, drohen, etc.)
  • Die Lehrerin gratulierte den Kindern.
  • The teacher congratulated the children.
The use of the dative also occurs with verbs that have a complement in the accusative (such as bringen, geben, schenken, leihen, senden, schicken, etc.)
  • Sie hat mir einen Stift geliehen.
  • She lent me a pencil.

The German dative

Complete the phrases to see how well you've learned the case!