How cookie monster can help with German grammar

So, you’ve started learning German and it’s going well. You even understand that there are three words for ‘the’, der, die and das. No problem you think, and you have learnt that the German word for cookie is ‘der Keks’.

And then you find this video on youtube and you hear ‘Ich esse den Keks’. So you ask your teacher why it says ‘den’ instead of ‘der’ and your teacher says:”It’s the accusative case, because the cookie is the direct object.”

Accusative? Direct object? What’s that all about???

Well,in the sentence ‘I eat the cookie’ ‘I’ is the subject of the sentence and the cookie I eat, is the direct object. In English it doesn’t matter, as it’s always ‘the’ but if the noun is the direct object instead of the subject, then ‘der’ changes to ‘den’. It’s the only change in the accusative. Any feminine nouns stay ‘die’ and neuter nouns stay ‘das’.

EDIT 2016 Unfortunately, the video I originally showed and a second one, have been blocked but I found another one, nowhere near as nice, but it gives you an idea.
EDIT 2017  Somebody else managed to embed the Kekse Song in their blog. Hopefully it’ll still be there when you check.

So, go ahead and sing with cookie monster:

Ich esse den Keks.
Ich esse den Keks.
Ich esse den Keks.
Ich esse den Keks.

And if you prefer fruit to cookies, you can practise ‘die’ and ‘das’ as well:

Ich esse die Kirsche.(cherry)
Ich esse die Kirsche.
Ich esse die Kirsche.
Ich esse die Kirsche.

Ich esse das Obst. (fruit)
Ich esse das Obst.
Ich esse das Obst.
Ich esse das Obst.

Viel Spaß – have fun!

PS Edit October 2017. If you’s like to know more about the accusative and all the other case, I now have an online course about German grammar – the four cases.

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