Verbs with Dative Complements

On this page you'll learn everything about verbs with dative complements. Complements are really important to help you know whether you should use the NominativeAccusativeDative, or Genitive case.

But first, you have to know what a complement is. If you aren't sure, take a look at this page on Complements in the German language.

Dative Complements

There are very few verbs with dative complements. When a verb always has a dative complement, the direct object is in the dative case (not accusative).

Examples:

  • Wem antwortet sie?“ – „Sie antwortet ihrem Vater.

    "ihrem Vater" "antworten" has a dative complement → Even when it is the direct object, the dative case must be used.

Attention:

Prepositions can replace the dative complement and create a "Prepositional Complement":

  • Sie antwortet auf die Frage ihres Vaters.“

Free download: List - Verbs with Dative

You should memorize the verbs that use dative complements.

There is no rule explaining all cases.

Marking them with different colors will help you to memorize the cases.

  • „Die Frau hilft dem Mann.“
  • „Ich glaube meinem Vater.“
  • „Die Hose passt mir nicht.“

Word Order

Normal Sentences / Main Clause:

Wortstellung Verben mit Dativ 1

Question:

Wortstellung Verben mit Dativ 2

Summary

  • A few verbs have a dative complement. 
  • There is no rule as to which verbs require a dative suffix. You just must know it.
  • These verbs require the dative case for the direct object, but prepositions always change the rules.
  • If there is a preposition in front of a noun, it is no longer an object, and the following rule applies. → The preposition always determines the case.

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