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Verbs with Dative Objects

If you're studying German, you're learning about the accusative and dative cases. You've likely looked at many sentences with a direct and indirect object that look similar to this one:

 

Also: Ich schenke ihm ein Ticket fürs Theater.

So, I give him a ticket to the theater.

Caption 15, Nicos Weg: Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

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In the sentence above, the ticket is the direct object and the pronoun "him" is the indirect object in the dative case, which is why it is ihm and not ihn. Generally in German, the direct object is associated with the accusative case. Here's a classic example, with the accusative personal pronoun dich as the direct object:

 

Weil ich dich liebe, noch immer und mehr.

Because I love you, still and more.

Caption 9, Marius Müller-Westernhagen Weil Ich Dich Liebe

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However, there are a number of common verbs that normally take an object in the dative case, even when there is no object with the accusative case in the sentence. You may already be familiar with this sort of structure from these common phrases:

 

Wir lassen jetzt die Sabine unser Gericht probieren und hoffen, dass es ihr schmeckt.

We'll now let Sabine taste our dish and hope that she likes it.

Captions 74-75, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte Rheinland-Pfalz

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Ich habe den ersten Teil schon gesehen und der hat mir sehr gut gefallen.

I saw the first part already and I liked it a lot.

Caption 43, Diane erklärt: Fragewörter

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Das braune Portemonnaie gehört dir, oder?

The brown wallet belongs to you, right?

Caption 18, Nicos Weg: Meine Familie

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Here are some other verbs that follow this pattern, each with a dative personal pronoun:

 

Du kannst mir vertrauen. Ich will dir helfen.

You can trust me. I want to help you.

Caption 7, Die Pfefferkörner: Cybermobbing

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Und ich hätte wirklich stundenlang dir zuhören können.

And I really could have listened to you for hours.

Caption 42, The Voice of German: Isabel Nolte singt „Als ich fortging“

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Lisa, ich gratuliere dir.

Lisa, I congratulate you.

Caption 7, Nicos Weg: Das ist mir wichtig!

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Bleib bei mir, verzeih mir.

Stay with me, forgive me.

Caption 16, Clueso: Weil ich dich liebe

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Further Learning
Try to create sentences with other common verbs that follow this pattern: danken, dienen, einfallen, fehlen, folgengelingenpassieren, schwer fallenwehtun, and widersprechen. You can find an extensive list on this website and will also find examples with these verbs on Yabla German.

Happiness is...

In the last lesson, we discussed the uses of das Unglück, often translated as "misfortune" or "bad luck" in English. Let's take a happier approach this week and look at some of the uses of das Glück and some words related to it. Das Glück is often translated as "lucky," especially when combined with the verb haben:

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Mann, Mann, Mann, da hab' ich noch mal Glück gehabt, hä!

Man, man, man, I was lucky again, right!

Caption 32, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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Das Glück can also mean "happiness": 

 

Und wie lange dauert überhaupt das Glück?

And how long does happiness last after all?

Caption 6, Die Toten Hosen - Ertrinken

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Glücklich is an adjectival variant of das Glück: 

 

Glücklich und zufrieden legten sie sich anschließend zur Ruhe.

Happy and satisfied, they afterwards lay down to rest.

Caption 62, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten

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Der Glückwunsch can be translated as "congratulations" or "best wishes": 

 

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!

Heartfelt best wishes on your birthday!

Caption 22, Mama arbeitet wieder - Kapitel 3: Papa ist weg

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Further Learning
There are dozens of German compound words that are formed with the noun das Glück, among them der Glücksbringer, die Glückseligkeit, der Glücksgriff, das Glücksspiel, and die Glückszahl. See if you can guess what these words mean without using a dictionary, and then go to Yabla German and see how they are used in a real world context. 

Von wegen: more than just "no way!"

A caption in this weeks' latest installment of the Pfefferkörner kid detectives series uses the slang phrase von wegen. Directly translated ("from because of"?), this phrase makes very little sense. Used on its own (Von wegen!), it is a negation to a statement made by somebody else, and means "that is wrong," "not at all," "just the opposite," or just simply "no way!" The Duden dictionary defines von wegen! as auf keinen Fall! Despite some rather crude translations of the phrase on some less than dependable crowd-sourced translation sites, the phrase itself is not vulgar at all, and will only cause offense if the contradiction of a statement is inherently offensive to the person who made it. It's all about context.

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It's a bit trickier to translate von wegen when it is used in a sentence and references something specific. Here too, we have to look at the context in which the phrase is used.

 

Von wegen [umgangssprachlich] Kunstunterricht.

It's not true about art class.

Caption 44, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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In the above scenario, a girl's parents just found out she was lying when she said that her brother was with friends in an art class. Her father confronts her about her lie using von wegen.

 

But von wegen can also be used in a dismissive sense: 

 

Von wegen körperloser Sport, hätt' ich meinen Helm doch gebraucht.

So much for non-contact sports, I still could've made use of my helmet after all.

Caption 46, Ultimate Frisbee - Oli erklärt das Spiel

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The speaker above is talking about the fact that frisbee is generally considered to be a non-contact sport, so he is dismissing this belief as being untrue. And here again as an expression casting doubt on a supposition:

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Von wegen Öl geht aus. Die lügen doch, die Ölstaaten.

As if the oil will run out. But they're lying, the oil states.

Caption 29, Culcha Candela - Schöne neue Welt

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There is also, of course, a standard, non-slang use of the phrase von wegen in a sentence: von [genitive noun] wegen means "for [noun] reasons" or "for reasons of [noun]." Some examples: von Amts wegen (for official reasons), von Rechts wegen (for legal reasons), or von Berufs wegen (for professional reasons). 

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Further Learning
Read this lively StackExchange article about von wegen and keep your eyes out for examples used in a real world scenario on Yabla German.

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