70 Basic Dative Verbs and Accusative Verbs in German

70 Basic Dative Verbs and Accusative Verbs in German

While learning German, one of the most common difficulties every beginner faces is not knowing whether to use accusative case or dative case. Apart from prepositions, even dative verbs and accusative verbs determine which case to use. You can learn more about cases in our lesson The 4 German Cases.

Many verbs require accusative case, however there is a set of verbs that always takes the dative case. There are also very few verbs in German that use genitive case. In the lists below, you’ll find common German dative verbs, accusative verbs as well as genitive verbs.

German Dative Verbs

Some verbs take a “direct object” in the dative case instead of the normal accusative case. Such verbs are called as dative verbs in German. This dative object is usually the only object in the sentence. Here’s a list of frequently used German verbs that always take the dative case:-

GermanEnglish
jdm. absagento cancel on somebody /
to turn someone down
ähnelnto resemble / to look like
antwortento answer
ausweichento avoid / dodge
befehlento command / order
begegnento encounter / meet
beistehento assist / support
beitretento join / enter
dankento thank
dienento serve
drohento threaten
einfallento occur to / come to mind
entgegenkommento accommodate / meet
erlaubento allow
fehlento miss / lack
folgento follow
gefallento like / please
gehorchento obey
gehörento belong to
gelingento succeed
genügento suffice / be enough
glaubento believe
gratulierento congratulate
helfento help
Leid tunto be sorry
missfallento dislike
misslingento fail
sich nähernto approach / come closer to
nachlaufento run after
nützento be of use to
passento suit / fit
passierento happen to
ratento advise
schadento harm / damage
schmeckento taste
vertrauento trust / confide in
verzeihento forgive / pardon
weh tunto hurt / ache
widersprechento contradict
winkento wave to / at
zuhörento listen to
zürnento be angry with
zustimmento agree with
  • Der Schokoladenkuchen schmeckt mir gut. (I like the chocolate cake. / The chocolate cake tastes good to me.)
  • Ich danke dir für die Hilfe. (I thank you for the help.)
  • Maria stimmt ihm nicht zu. (Maria does not agree with him.)
Dative verbs in German- gratulieren- All About Deutsch

German Genitive Verbs

There are only a few verbs that use the genitive case. These verbs are usually found in formal writing (literature, in court or at the police station). They are rarely used in conversational German.

During conversations, a genitive verb can be easily replaced by another verb with the same meaning. Another easier way is to add a preposition. Here’s a list of genitive verbs in German:-

GermanEnglish
bedürfento need / require
gedenkento commemorate
sich erinnernto remember
sich brüstento brag / boast about
sich schämento be ashamed of
sich vergewissernto make sure of / ascertain
sich enthaltento abstain from
verdächtigento suspect of
  • Er bedarf meiner Hilfe. (He needs my help.)
    Here, the verb bedürfen can be replaced by the verb brauchen. So, the same sentence can be written as – Er braucht meine Hilfe.
  • Ich schäme mich meiner Dummheit. (I am ashamed of my foolishness.)
    Here, we can add the preposition für. So, the same sentence can be written as – Ich schäme mich für meine Dummheit.

Verbs with Accusative and Dative Case

There are many German verbs that require accusative case (direct object) as well as dative case (indirect object). Whenever there are two objects in a sentence, the person is always dative and the thing is always accusative.

An important point to remember is that the dative object precedes the accusative object. Only when the accusative object is a pronoun, it is placed before the dative object.

GermanEnglish
beantwortento answer / reply to
beweisento prove
borgento borrow
bringento bring
empfehlento recommend
erzählento tell / narrate
gebento give
leihento lend
liefernto deliver
mitteilento inform
reichento pass / hand
sagento say / tell
schenkento gift
schicken / sendento send
schreibento write
verschweigento keep secret / withhold
versprechento promise
wegnehmento take away
zeigento show
  • Kannst du mir etwas Geld leihen? (Can you lend me some money?)
  • Sie erzählen uns die Geschichte des Films. (They are telling us the story of the movie.)
  • Dieses Buch ist wunderbar. Ich schenke es meinem Vater. (This book is wonderful. I am gifting it to my father.)
Accusative verbs in German- versprechen- All About Deutsch

German Accusative Verbs

Except dative verbs and genitive verbs, all the other verbs are accusative. This means that majority of the verbs take accusative case. The only exception to this rule is the verb sein. It always requires nominative case.

Also, you learned in the previous section of this lesson that when there are 2 objects in a sentence, one is dative and the other is accusative. However, there are a few exceptions. Some verbs like fragen, kosten and lehren can take two accusative objects.


This was all about the accusative verbs and dative verbs in German. It is best to simply learn the dative verbs first, because majority of the remaining German verbs are always accusative.

We’ve also uploaded a list of verbs with prepositions for you. Click here to download your free PDF now!

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