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Accusative Pronouns in German

This lesson contains topics:

  1. Personal pronouns in the accusative case
  2. Demonstrative pronouns in the accusative case
  3. Possessive pronouns in the accusative case
  4. Reflexsive pronouns in the accusative case

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Personal pronouns in the accusative case

In lesson 5 (Pronouns), we have discussed pronouns in the nominative case. Object pronouns replace the object of the sentence. (Object is a noun that receives the action in the sentence.) Object pronouns in English are: me, you, her, him, it, us, and them. The objective case in German is called the accusative case.
German personal pronouns in the accusative case are:

Nominative case Accusative case
1. Person (Singular) ich (I) mich (me)
1. Person (Plural) wir (we) uns (us)
2. Person, familiar form
(Singular)
du (you) dich (you)
2. Person, familiar form
(Plural)
ihr (you) euch (you)
2. Person, polite form
(Singular)
Sie (you) Sie (you)
2. Person, polite form
(Plural)
Sie (you) Sie (you)
3. Person (Singular) er (he)
sie (she)
es (it)
ihn (him)

sie (her)

es (it)
3. Person (Plural) sie (they) sie (them)

Examples:

Ich mag dich. (I like you.)
Explanation: The verb "mögen" (to like) takes a direct object. In this case, it is the second-person singular pronoun "dich". In this sentence, "I" is the subject pronoun, "like" is the verb, and "you" is the object pronoun (in German, accusative). As the accusative case changes the personal pronoun "du" to "dich", that's why we are using "dich" and not "du".
The conjugation of the verb "mögen" is:
ich mag, du magst, er/sie/es mag, wir mögen, ihr mögt, Sie mögen, sie mögen.

Ich brauche ihn. (I need him.)

Ich habe einen Burger. (I have a burger.) Ich esse ihn jetzt. (I am eating it now.)
"Der Burger" is a masculine noun. This may be confusing due to the English translation, "I am eating it now". We must take care of the gender in German nouns.

Demonstrative pronouns in the accusative case

In lesson 5, we covered demonstrative pronouns in the nominative case. In German, demonstrative pronouns are identical to definite articles, namely "der," "die," and "das." However, when employed as demonstrative pronouns, their meanings shift. "Der," "die," and "das" can indicate both "that" and "this." In the accusative case (objective case), only the masculine demonstrative pronoun "der" transforms into "den."

On small screens, please drag the following tables right or left to view the full width.
English German
Singular demonstrative pronouns Nominative Accusative
that der (for masculine nouns)
die (for feminine nouns)
das (for neuter nous)
den (for masculine nouns)

die (for feminine nouns)

das (for neuter nous)
Plural demonstrative pronouns Nominative Accusative
that die die

For the English word "this," we have learned the German equivalent, "dieser." When demonstrating masculine nouns in the accusative case (objective case), "dieser" transforms into "diesen." However, for feminine and neuter nouns, there are no changes. Likewise, the plural form of the pronoun "diese" also remains unaltered.

On small screens, please drag the following tables right or left to view the full width.
English German
Singular demonstrative pronouns Nominative Accusative
this dieser (for masculine nouns)
diese (for feminine nouns)
dieses (for neuter nous)
diesen (for masculine nouns)

diese (for feminine nouns)

dieses (for neuter nous)
Plural demonstrative pronouns Nominative Accusative
these/those diese diese

Sometimes, distinguishing between a definite article and a demonstrative pronoun within a single sentence can be challenging. In such cases, the context of the sentence within the paragraph provides the necessary explanation for the differentiation.

Practice of demonstrative and personal pronouns


Ich mag dich sehr. (I like you very much.)
Ich mag dich auch. (I like you too.)
Ich mag dich nicht. (I do not like you.)
Ich mag dich gar nicht. (I do not like you at all.)
Ich mag das. (I like this.)


Magst du ihn? (Do you like him?)
Magst du sie? (Do you like her?)
Magst du ihn auch so gern? (Do you also like him so much?)
Mögen Sie den fisch? (Do you like that fish?)
Nein, ich mag die Wurst. Haben Sie die Wurst? (No, I like the sausage. Do you have the sausage?)


Mögen Sie Jacke oder Mantel? (Do you like jacket or coat?)
Ich mag den Pullover. (I like the sweater.)
Dieses Hemd mag ich auch. (I also like this shirt.)
Und noch was? (And something else?)
Ich denke, ich mag diese Hose und den Gürtel. (I think I like these pants and that belt.)
Das ist alles? (That's all?)
Und ich glaube, ich mag diese Schuhe auch. (And I think I like those shoes too.)


Der Schuh ist aber ein bisschen kaputt. (The shoe is a bit broken.)
Ich kaufe keine Schuhe dann. (I do not buy shoes then.)
Ich kaufe nur den Mantel und diese Brille. (I only buy that coat and these glasses.)
Und das reicht für heute. (And that is enough for today.)
Morgen komme ich wieder und kaufe noch was. (Tomorrow I will come back and buy something else.)
Morgen ist aber Sonntag. (But tomorrow is Sunday.)
Dann komme ich übermorgen. (Then I'll come over the day after tomorrow.)
Übermorgen sind wir zu. (The day after tomorrow we are closed.)
Alles klar, dann bis Dienstag. (All right, then until Tuesday.)

Possessive pronouns in the accusative case

Please first recall pronouns in the nominative case from Lesson 5.

Possessive pronouns that come before masculine nouns add an ending "-en" in the accusative case. The remaining possessive pronouns do not undergo any changes.

On small screens, please drag the following tables right or left to view the full width.
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative
(Singular)
mein (my) | unser (our)
dein (your) | euer (your)
Ihr (your) | Ihr (your)
sein/sein/ihr (his/it/her) | ihr (their)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
mein | unser
dein | euer
Ihr | Ihr
sein/sein/ihr | ihr
Nominative
(Plural)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Accusative
(Singular)
meinen (my) | unseren (our)
|
deinen (your) | eueren (your)
|
Ihren (your) | Ihren (your)
|
seinen/seinen/ihren (his/it/her) | ihren (their)
|
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre
mein | unser
dein | euer
Ihr | Ihr
sein/sein/ihr | ihr
Accusative
(Plural)
meine | unsere
deine | euere
Ihre | Ihre
seine/seine/ihre | ihre

Examples:
The verb "lieben" (to love) is a regular verb. Conjugation of "lieben" is:
ich liebe (I love), du liebst (you love (singular)), er/sie/es liebt (he/she/it loves), wir lieben (we love), ihr liebt (you love (plural)), sie lieben (they love), Sie lieben (you love (polite form singular and plural)).


Ich liebe meinen Vater. (I love my father.)
Wir lieben auch unseren Vater. (We also love our father.)
Liebt ihr alle ihren Väter? (Do you all love your fathers?)
Liebst du deinen Vater? (Do you (singular) love your father?)
Ja, ich liebe meinen Vater und auch meine Mutter. (Yes, I love my dad and my mother too.)

Reflexive pronouns

All reflexive pronouns are in the objective case (accusative case), meaning that a reflexive pronoun functions as either a direct object or an indirect object. In English, reflexive pronouns include myself, yourself, himself, herself, oneself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves.
In German, personal pronouns in the accusative case, such as mich, dich, uns, euch, are also utilized as reflexive pronouns. However, the 3rd person singular (er/es/sie), 3rd person plural "sie" (they), and the 2nd person polite form (Sie) transform into "sich." Please refer to the table below for a clear illustration:

Singular Plural
1st person
mich (myself)
uns (ourselves)
2nd person, familiar form
dich (yourself)
euch (yourselves)
2nd person, polite form
sich (yourself)
sich (yourselves)
3rd person
sich (himself)

sich (herself)

sich (itself)
sich (themselves)

Examples:

Man soll sich selbst kennen. (One should know oneself.)
"Man" with the single "n" is used for "one," i.e., man soll immer die Wahrheit sagen. (One should always tell the truth.)
Man soll nie lügen. (One should never lie.)
"Mann" with double "n" is a noun and it means "man" in English.
sich selbst (oneself), die Wahrheit (truth), nie (never) , lügen (to lie / to tell a lie).

Ich kenne mich sehr gut. (I know myself very well.)
The conjugation of the verb "kennen" (to know) is:
ich kenne, du kennst, er/sie/es kennt, wir kennen, ihr kennt, Sie kennen, sie kennen.

Er kennt sich sehr gut. (He knows himself very well.)
Sie kennt sich sehr gut. (She knows herself very well.)

Kennen wir uns? (Do we know each other?)
The literal translation would be: Do we know ourselves?

Kennen wir uns schon? (Do we already know each other?)

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