The German Accusative Case

German Cases

Do you prefer to read this lesson German Accusative Case in German? Switch language now!

What is the German Accusative Case? (Akkusativ)

  • The Accusative Case (Akkusativ) is one of four German cases also called "Kasus"
  • Accusative Case is also used after certain verbs and prepositions.
  • It is also used for the "direct Object".
  • In sentences, the direct object is usually the object/person with whom something is done, who is „used“ for the action.
  • The question for Accusative Case: „Wen?“ or „Was?“ (But: Don´t use them! I will tell you later why!)


  • „Der Mann hat ein Pferd.“

What does the man have? – Ein Pferd!

We use the Accusative Case always after the Verb „haben“. That's because „haben“  always needs the direct object!

  • „Der Junge schenkt seiner Freundin die Blumen.“

What does the boy give to a Friend? – Die Blumen!

"Die Blumen" is the direct object, which is acted upon!

Accusative - Declension

We only need to change the Articles for Masculine nouns!

declension accusative case Akkusativ

Are you still having problems with the German cases?

If the German cases still cause you great difficulties, I now have the solution for you!

After you read my book/ebook: „Nominative, Accusative, Dative or Genitive? - No Problem!“ you'll even be able to explain the cases to your friends! Guaranteed - or you'll get your money back!

Yes, help me with the German cases now! (Click)

Use of the Accusative Case

Use: Direct Object

In sentence with only one object typically takes the Accusative Case. Exceptions are when the verb or preposition specifically requires the Nominative, Genitive or Dative case.

The direct object is acted upon the action of the verb, or is „used“ for the action.

  • „Er gibt der Frau die Blumen.“ 

("Die Blumen" are acted upon/used for the action, they don't do anything on their own, and they don't receive anything ⇒ Direct Object)

  • „Er schenkt ihr ein Auto.“

("Das Auto" is acted upon/used for the action, it doesn't do anything on its own, and it doesn't receive anyhting ⇒ Direct Object)

Use: Object

In sentences that have just the subject and a single object, the nouns take the Accusative Case, unless the Prepositions or the verb requires the use of Nominative, Dative or Genitive.

  • „Ich habe ein Eis.“
  • „Er singt ein Liebeslied.“
  • „Er spielt den Ball.“

Most verbs require the object to be in the Accusative Case. That makes everything pretty easy because, at the same time, it's the direct object of the sentence: it is acted upon/used for the action, it doesn't do anything on its own and it doesn't receive anything. (More about this in the lessons: Verbs with Complements and Verbs with Accusative).

But the whole thing is not difficult, because it is the direct object at the same time. Therfore it is used for the action, does nothing itself, and gets nothing. ⇒ Accusative Case

Use: After Prepositions

The German Prepositions „um“, „durch“, „ohne“, „bis“, „für“ and „gegen“ ALWAYS require the noun to be in the Accusative Case.

  • „Er fährt durch den Tunnel.
  • „Die Blumen sind für meine Freundin.“
  • „Der Mann geht um das Haus.

Prepositions don't care whether it's a direct object or indirect object or what case the verb requires. It also doesn't matter which case the verb requires. So, if you have a preposition in front of a noun, the preposition determines the case. (More about this in the chapter: Prepositions and Prepositions with Accusative).


If there is a Preposition before the Noun, all other rules do not matter.

The rule of the respective Preposition ALWAYS applies.

It doesn't matter if it's a Direct or Indirect Object or which case the Verb wants to use.

The Preposition tells you which case to use! ALWAYS!


Free Email Grammar Course Lessons - 40+ Complete Lessons (Explanations, Exercises, Solutions) - Every Tuesday & Thursday - Perfect for Self-study or as homework for your Students!

Why shouldn´t you use the questions?

I am a native speaker and asking the questions (especially for Dative and Accusative Case) never help even a little bit. It can help if you already acquired a feeling for the language. But even most of the native speakers won´t get it right with those questions. They will most likely confuse you.

Also: The question "Was?" (What?) is used for three out of four cases....

That´s why, always remember:

The Preposition tells you which case to use! ALWAYS!

No preposition? - Does the verb force you to use a certain case? 

If not - direct object = accusative and indirect object = dative


To practice, you can find Online Exercises here, which you can / may also download and print.

Related Topics:

Entire lesson in German only: Akkusativ

Detailed explanations of the other German Cases:

The following things need to be adjusted (declined) based on the case:

  • Deklination von Artikeln (Declension of Articles)
  • Deklination von Pronomen (Declension of Pronouns)
  • Adjektivdeklination (Adjective Declension) 
  • N-Deklination (N-Declension)

The following things affect the case:

You can find an overview of all topics under German Grammar. 

Recommendation: Free video lessons every Tuesday & Thursday

Sign up now: Email German Grammar course

Special offer: 5 Ebooks for free!

All German EasyDeutsch Ebooks - 5 plus 5! (5 x 17 = 85)

Buy 5 Ebooks together now and get the other 5 for free!

  1. EasyGerman - German Grammar (Preview)
  2. DaF Grammar Trainer - 300 Exercises (Preview)
  3. 137 German Prepositions (Preview)
  4. Intensive Trainer: German Prepositions (Preview)
  5. Connectors - Conjunctions, Subjunctions, Conjunctional Adverbs (Preview)
  6. 40+ Grammar Lists - Free (Preview)
  7. Nominative, Accusative, Dative or Genitive? - Free (Preview)
  8. Intensive Trainer: German Cases - Free (Preview)
  9. 200+ pages of Grammar Exercises: Level A1-A2 - Free (Preview)
  10. 200+ pages of Grammar Exercises: Level B1-B2 -Free (Preview)


Over 100 ready-to-teach grammar units on all topics of German grammar (A1-B2)

Perfect as homework or for self-learners!

85€ - 219€

Accept gifts and...