What is the difference between using "mir" or "dir" and "mich" and "dich"? Nobody's explanations so far have given me even the slightest clue what the difference is. My German teacher says "mir" means "to me" and "dir" means "to you". And that "mich" is "me" and "dich" is "you" SO WHAT'S DIFFERENT?If there isn't a difference can I just use them interchangeably?I do not have ANY understanding of any cases other than accusative and nominative
Dec 11, 2016 7:27 PM
Answers · 6
In German, we've got four cases: Nominativ, Genitiv, Akkusativ, Dativ. Apart from Nominativ, which is the easiest case, Akkusativ and Dativ are the most important ones. Genitiv is usually used for indicating that something belongs to something/someone. There are also a few verbs that need Genitiv. Many verbs and all prepositions need an Akksativ or Dativ object. Dativ geben: Er gibt mir Geld. - He is giving me money. sagen: Ich habe dir gesagt, dass ich keine Zeit habe. - I said to you (/ told you) that I don't have time. Akkusativ sehen: Ich sehe dich. - I'm seeing you. lieben: Ich liebe dich. - I love you.
December 11, 2016
Your teacher's explanation mainly refers to verbs with the pattern "to <verb> <something> TO <someone>". In English the second "to" disappears when the person is named first, though (I write a letter to him = I write him a letter), so maybe that's why the different functions of the objects aren't always clear to an English speaker. In German you usually have the "to" object (mostly a person) in the dative case and the other in the accusative, so it's "ich schreibe ihm (dat.) einen Brief (acc.)". If you just swapped the cases, that would make as little sense as saying "I write him to a letter" in English. Note, however, that there are also other verb patterns. "Helfen", for instance, only has a dative object, so you always have to say "ich helfe *dir*". You'll have to learn these by heart, and the same goes for the prepositions.
December 12, 2016
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