Types of Verb Objects

There are two types of verbs: transitive and intransitive. Transitive verbs express an action as not limited to the agent or subject, but directed upon an object.

Direct Object

The direct object is a person or thing to which an action is done. In German, the direct object is in the accusative case. Direct objects are never introduced by a preposition.

Ich mag das nicht. - I don't like this.

For emphasis, the direct object is moved to the beginning of the sentence.

Das mag ich sehr. - I like this (one) very much.

Some articles which determine nouns (direct objects) change their endings in the accusative, dative and genitive cases.

Ich mag den Mann. - I like the man.

The change of ending in der indicates that the noun phrase den Mann functions as direct object and is therefore used in the accusative case. Articles, adjectives, pronouns and nouns can all be used in the accusative case.

Indirect Object

Many verbs need two noun phrases to make a complete sentence: direct object in the accusative case and indirect object in the dative case. With the verb to give, English indirect object may be used with preposition to, while German indirect objects are used in the dative case.

Er gibt mir die Karte. - He gives me the map.

Mir gibt er die Karte. - To me, he gives the map.

Prepositional Object

Many verbs are followed by a phrase with a preposition. Verbs with preposition für require articles or pronouns in the accusative case.

Danke für den Schlüssel. - Thanks for the key.


Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension