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Created by Lucas Kern

German Accusative Case with einen

I’ll try to make it as easy as possible but the cases can be very tricky!

Therefore, you should know exactly how to learn German on your own, otherwise you will get lost. Follow the link and I’ll show you how to do it.

German accusative case

The German Accusative Case and Nominative Case – Part 2

I think it is a good idea to repeat the lesson on indefinite articles ein, eine and the lesson on accusative case ‘den’ before you do this lesson.

If you repeat both, this lesson will be much easier.

Remember:

Nominative Case: 

The nominative case is usually used for a person or thing which is doing the action. This noun which is doing the action is the subject.

There is always only one subject in a sentence therefore only one nominative case.

Accusative Case: 

The accusative case is usually used for a person or thing that is directly affected by the action. These nouns are called direct objects.

  • Ein Mann liest.
  • Eine Frau isst.
  • Ein Mädchen schreibt.

In all three sentences above we have only the nominative case because in each sentence we have a person (noun) who is doing some action (reading, eating, writing).

To make it a little more interesting let’s place two nouns in some sentences, one in the nominative and the other one in the accusative case.

Scenario 1 - German Accusative Case

Let’s work our way through

Nominative / Accusative – Scenario 1

Let’s have a look at a sentence with the verb suchen (to look for, to search):

  • ein Mädchen (neuter) 
  • ein Kind (neuter)

Note: I know, even though a girl is female we say das Mädchen and ein Mädchen.

It is an exception!

>> Ein Mädchen sucht ein Kind.

Did you notice that there are two nouns in the sentence?

One of the two nouns is playing the leading part and is doing the action.

A girl (ein Mädchen) is playing the leading part, because a girl is doing something.

A child (ein Kind) is not playing the leading part but it is directly involved.

  • 1st noun = Mädchen (leading part) = doing the action = nominative case
  • 2nd noun = Kind = not doing the action but directly involved = accusative case

Scenario 2 - German Accusative Case

Let’s work our way through

Nominative / Accusative – Scenario 2

Now we change the sentence a little:

Ein Mädchen (neuter)
Eine Frau (feminine)

>> Ein Mädchen sucht eine Frau.

  • 1st noun = Mädchen (leading part) = doing the action = nominative case
  • 2nd noun = Frau = not doing the action but directly involved = accusative case

So far, so good.

 

Scenario 3 - German Accusative Case

Let’s work our way through

Nominative / Accusative – Scenario 3

Ein Mädchen (neuter)
Ein Mann (masculine)

>> Ein Mädchen sucht einen Mann.

Mädchen = neuter => das and therefore the indefinite article ein.
Mann = masculine => der and therefore also the indefinite article ein.

Mmmm – but why do we use einen in this sentence?

Let’s see:

  • 1st noun = Mädchen (leading part) = doing the action = nominative case
  • 2nd noun = Mann = not doing the action but directly involved = accusative case

It is because the indefinite article ein when we use it for a masculine noun changes to einen in the accusative case!

It is similar to the masculine article: der in lesson: Accusative Case ‘den’, it changed to den. Now the masculine indefinite article: ein changed to einen in the accusative case.

More Examples - German Accusative Case

Let’s work our way through

Nominative / Accusative – More Examples

For now it is enough when you notice that we use einen when the noun does not play the leading part and it is masculine.

In all these example sentences the first noun is in the nominative case and the second noun is in the accusative case.

Note that the indefinite articles eine and ein (when used for a feminine or neuter noun) stay the same in the accusative case.

And the indefinite article ein (when used for a masculine noun) changes to einen in the accusative case.

 Let’s have a look at some combinations to make that clearer.

  • Ein Mann sucht einen Mann.
  • Ein Mann sucht eine Frau.
  • Ein Mann sucht ein Kind.

 

  • Eine Frau sucht einen Mann.
  • Eine Frau sucht eine Frau.
  • Eine Frau sucht ein Kind.

 

  • Ein Kind sucht einen Mann.
  • Ein Kind sucht eine Frau.
  • Ein Kind sucht ein Kind.

Plural Accusative

Remember, If we have a plural noun we don’t use the indefinite article at all:

  • Ein Mann sucht Frauen
  • Eine Frau sucht Männer
  • Ein Kind haut Kinder.

 

Indefinite Articles - German Accusative

More Examples - German Accusative Case

Let’s work our way through

Wen? Wer? – Identify the German Cases

If there are people involved then we need the question word wer? to identify the noun (person) that is in the nominative case.

With the question word wen? we can identify the noun (person) that is in the accusative case.

For example:

Eine Frau sucht einen Mann.

Frage:
Wer sucht (einen Mann)?

Antwort:
Eine Frau
Eine Frau sucht einen Mann.

Frage:
Wen sucht die Frau?

Antwort:
einen Mann
Eine Frau sucht einen Mann.

German Accusative case with ‘einen’ – Exercise A:

How to learn with part A of the exercise

  1. Read and listen a few times.
  2. Repeat after the speaker.
  3. Make sure that you imitate the pronunciation of the speaker.
  4. After a few repetitions go on to part B (farther below).

 

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Now it is your part:

Martin sucht ein Kind.
Martin is looking for a child.

Monika sucht eine Frau.
Monika is looking for a woman.

Peter sucht einen Mann.
Peter is looking for a man.

German Colors and Fruits – Exercise B:

Nominativ-Akkusativ

How to learn with part B of the exercise

Question and Answer Part:

  1. Read and listen a few times to the questions and answers.
  2. Answer the questions in the pauses (you may look also at the answers).
  3. After a few times don’t look at the answers anymore.
  4. Make sure that you imitate the pronunciation of my voice.
  5. Repeat the lesson until you can answer the questions easily.

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Fragen und Antworten

1) Martin sucht ein Kind.

Frage:
Wer sucht ein Kind?

Kurze Antwort:
Martin

Lange Antwort:
Martin sucht ein Kind.

Wen sucht Martin?
ein Kind
Martin sucht ein Kind.

2) Monika sucht eine Frau.

Wer sucht eine Frau?
Monika
Monika sucht eine Frau.

Wen sucht Monika?
eine Frau
Monika sucht eine Frau.

3) Peter sucht einen Mann.

Wer sucht einen Mann?
Peter
Peter sucht einen Mann.

Wen sucht Peter?
einen Mann
Peter sucht einen Mann.

Did you notice when we use wer? and when we use wen?

Here’s a hint: It has something to do with:

Who plays the leading part?

!
Don't stop now - repeat it again!

Repeat this until you can answer the questions.

Almost finished

It is very important that you get familiar with the verb structure and that’s why I want to add this little bonus.

Conjugation of the verb ‘suchen’

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The verb ‘suchen’ = to look for, search (regular verb)

Singular:

Ich suche
Du suchst
Er sucht
Sie sucht
Es sucht

Plural:

Wir suchen
Ihr sucht
Sie suchen

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Never give up! 

Wenn du glaubst, dass dieses kompliziert ist, mach dir keine Sorgen! Es ist nur eine Frage des Übens. Und ich werde dieses Thema in späteren Lektionen wiederholen.

  1. Gebe (gib) niemals auf!
  2. Wiederhole diese Lektion viele Male.

If you think this is complicated, don’t worry! It’s just a matter of practice. And I will repeat this matter in further lessons.

  1. Never give up!
  2. Repeat this lesson many times!

 

s
Modal verb können

The next lesson is about the use of the modal verb können.

I will cover how to use the verb both in affirmative and negative statements. It won’t be that complicated, so don’t be afraid to go there and practice.

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