Dative?

Kyle-T

Kyle-T

Sie sollen mir sagen. You should tell me. With this sentence, why is it that the dative "mir" is used? I see Sie (subject), sagen (verb) and mir as the direct object. But apparently I am wrong and mir is correct. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Kyle
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hello Kyle, "Sie sollen mir sagen." Here we use the dative, which is used for the indirect obkect of the sentence. The indirect object is the person or thing to whom an action is being performed. "mir" means "to/for me", so to make it more clear you could translate the sentence as: You should tell it to me. Please have a look at Grammar chapter 6.1-6.4 to find out more. I hope this helps!
Kyle-T

Kyle-T

I need further explanation in regards to this problem so I have added further information. "The accusative is used for the direct object of a sentence. The direct object is the person, animal or thing that the action of the sentence is happening to. For example: Paul liebt Anna. Paul loves Anna." "Now that you understand the concept of the direct object, (i.e., the object to which the action is being done in a sentence) you are ready to look at the concept of the indirect object. An indirect object is the person or thing to (or for) whom (or which) an action is being performed. In English you can spot this by the words to or for. The dative is used to show the indirect object of a sentence. Die Frau gibt dem Mann einen Kuss. The woman gives the man a kiss." Okay I have reviewed the lessons and the examples again and what I don't understand is that according to the explanations both the direct and indirect objects are person's and thing's being acted upon by verbs. I quote determining factors from both the direct and indirect Rocket German explanations. For direct objects part of the explanation is "that the action of the sentence is happening to" for indirect object part of the explanation is "to (or for) whom (or which) an action is being performed." To me, both of these explanations are telling me the same thing. Now I understand the examples given. Paul (subject) liebt (verb) anna (direct object). There is a direct relationship between liebt and anna. Die Frau (subject) gibt (verb) dem mann (indirect object) einen kuss (direct object). Here there is no direct relationship between gibt and man but rather gibt and kuss so dem man is the indirect object and einen Kuss is the direct object. "Gibt dem Mann" doesn't make sense. "Gibt einen Kuss" makes sense in regards to being a direct object. Now what throws me are senstences like this one: "Sie sollen mir sagen." You should tell me. With this sentence, why is it that the dative "mir" is used? I see Sie (subject), sagen (verb) and mir as the direct object. But apparently I am wrong and mir is correct. Where is the direct object? Doesn't there have to be a direct object before there will be an indirect object? Thanks so much Kyle
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hi Kyle, "Mir" is the indirect Object. You are right there must be a direct object for an indirect object to be placed in a sentence but "Sie sollen mir sagen" is a incomplite German sentence. You could say "Sie sollen mir die Antwort sagen." "You should tell me the answer." "Answer" would be the direct object. Where did you find this example on our site? Please let me know if you need more examples that help you identify the objects in a sentence. Paul
Kyle-T

Kyle-T

Thanks for the clear explanation. It is slowly making more sense. The example I provided is not on your website. I usually look for the direct object first then the indirect object but now that I know that an incomplete sentence can have just an indirect object I am the wiser. More examples that are similiar to the above example would be most welcome. Thanks Kyle
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hey Kyle, No worries. Here are a two more examples: Nathalie 1. Mein Bruder spielt Rugby. My brother plays rugby. Subject: Who plays rugby? My brother 2. Ich sehe meinen Bruder selten. I seldom see my brother. Direct object: Whom do I seldom see? My brother 3. Ich habe meinem Bruder einen Ball zum Geburtstag geschenkt. I gave my brother a ball for his birthday. Indirect object: to whom did I give a ball for his birthday? To my brother 4. Letzten Montag war ich mit den Freunden meines Bruders im Kino. Last Monday, I went to the movies with my brother’s friends = the friends of my brother. Genitive object: whose friends were they? My brother’s ------------------------------------------------------- Sie kauft mir Schuhe. She buy's me shoes. Subject: Who buy's shoes? She does Direct object: What does she buy? Shoes Indirect object: to whom? to me Hope this helps! Feel free to post as many questions as you want. Paul

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