At some point when learning German you will come across pronouns, those little words that replace a noun.
When they are the subject of the sentence, most people have no problem remembering them.
But then you also come across mir or mich etc… and often I get asked “When do I use mir, dir etc… and when do I use mich, dich, etc…?”
That depends on the case:
If the pronoun is the object of the sentence, then it is in the accusative and ich, for example, changes to mich.
Ich liebe dich – I love you. ‘I’ is the subject and ‘you’ is the object, so you are the object of my desire ♥
Ich rufe dich an – I’ll call you.
Ist das für mich? – Is that for me? ‘Für’ is a preposision which takes the accusative, so you need ‘mich’.
Wir gehen ohne ihn. – We’re going without him. Another accusative preposition. (For more prepositions check here)
If the pronoun is the indirect object or after dative prepositions, the ‘ich’ changes to ‘mir’.
Das ist von mir. – That’s from me. ‘Von’ is a dative preposition.
Ich komme mit dir. – I’m coming with you. ‘Mit’ is another dative preposition.
Ich helfe ihr. – I’m helping her. ‘Helfen’ is a verb that’s always followed by the dative, think of ‘I’m giving help to her’.
One of my students said yesterday, she’d love to have a bookmark with the accusative and dative pronouns. So here it is, for you Gill, and anybody else who would like a bookmark. Save the above picture, print it in the size you wish, fold it in half and laminate it. You then have two lists of pronouns. Both remind you of the nominative ones (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they) and how they are different in the dative and accusative case, and give a few examples.
Hope that helps!
If you’d like to know more about the four German cases, have a look at my online courses: German grammar – the four cases
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