The German accusative case
The accusative case shows the direct object of a sentence—the person or thing the action is being done to in the sentence. This is especially important since German masculine nouns used as direct objects change in declension (i.e. den, einen).
|dich||you (informal sing.)|
|Sie||you (formal sing. & pl.)|
With prepositionsThe prepositions durch, für, gegen, ohne, and um are all accompanied by the accusative case. The prepositions an, auf, hinter, in neben, über, vor, and zwischen all lead to the accusative when they express movement:
- Wir fahren in die Stadt.
- We are driving into town.
After a verbFollowing a transitive verb, the accusative case is required.
- Anna hatte den Hund gesehen.
- Anna had seen the dog.
Describing durationThe accusative can also be used to indicate repetition or a date.
- Wir müssen jeden Tag arbeiten.
- We have to work every day.
- Dann gehen wir den Hügel hinauf.
- Then we go up the hill.