21 Section 2-6

2.6: Accusative Personal Pronouns

In Chapter 1, you learned the nominative case personal pronouns.

ich—I

wir—we

du—you (familiar)

ihr—you (plural, familiar); y’all

er—he

sie—she

es—it

sie—they

Sie—you (formal)

In this chapter, you will learn the accusative case personal pronouns. To better understand the difference between nominative and accusative pronouns, we will compare them to English. In English, we switch between nominative (subject) and accusative (direct object) pronouns all the time without realizing it. For example, we know when to use “I” and when to use “me.”

Nominative/subject

Accusative/direct object

I

me

you

you

he

him

she

her

we

us

they

them

Here are the German equivalents in the chart below.

ichmich

wiruns

du—dich

ihreuch

er—ihn

sie—sie (no change)

es—es

sie—sie (no change)

Sie—Sie (no change)

The trick is knowing when to use which word. Whenever you want to refer to the subject of a sentence, use the nominative.

Nominative Examples:

        Der Pulli hat viele Farben.     (The pullover has many colors).

        Er hat viele Farben.     (It has many colors).

        Willi und ich brauchen Geld.      (Willi and I need money).

        Wir brauchen Geld.     (We need money.)

Accusative Examples:

        Timo kennt Nathan Chen.     (Timo knows Nathan Chen).

        Timo kennt ihn.     (Timo knows him.)

        Ich sehe meine Eltern.    (I see my parents.)

        Ich sehe sie.      (I see them.)

By using both nominative and accusative pronouns, it makes your German sound more natural.

        A: Kennst du meinen Cousin?

        B: Sebastian? Ja, ich kenne ihn!

Instead of constantly repeating the word “Cousin,” we replace it with “ihn” (him).

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Video: Watch Easy German’s video to see a review of both nominative and accusative personal pronouns.

Ex. A: Accusative pronouns. Fill in the blank with the correct accusative pronoun.

          Beispiel:  A: Kennst du meinen Bruder?

                B: Nein.  Ich kenne _______ nicht.

           Ich kenne ihn nicht.

 

A: Kennst du meine Schwester?

B: Nein, ich kenne __________ nicht.

A: Hast du mein Buch?

B: Nein, ich habe ________ nicht.

A: Kennt er die Professorin?

B: Ja, er kennt _______.

A: Sieht sie mich?

B: Ja, sie sieht __________.

A: Kennst du John Smith?

B: Nein, ich kenne ________ nicht.

A: Siehst du mich und meine Schwester?

B: Ja, ich sehe __________.

A: Brauchst du den Kuli?

B: Ja, ich brauche _______.

A: Verstehen Sie uns, Frau Schmidt?

B: Nein, ich verstehe _______ nicht.

A: Kauft dein Neffe das Auto?

B: Ja, er kauft _______.

Ex. B: Wen oder was kennst du? You can use the verb kennen to say that you know someone or are familiar with a person, city, book, or film. Using the verb kennen and accusative pronouns, answer the following questions with a partner.

         Beispiel: Daniel Radcliffe

               A: Kennst du Daniel Radcliffe.

               B: Ja, ich kenne ihn.

                              ODER

               B: Nein, ich kenne ihn nicht.

                (Put nicht after the direct object)

  1. Madonna
  2. Vladimir Putin
  3. die Gruppe BTS
  4. Helen Hunt
  5. Harry Styles
  6. Florence, Alabama
  7. Das Boot
  8. Frau Doktor Vance
  9. Bettina Matthias

Deutsche Musik:  Listen to Blümchen’s hit from the 90s, Er liebt mich, to hear examples of accusative pronouns in the lyrics.

Songtext:  https://genius.com/Blumchen-er-liebt-mich-lyrics

Ex. C: Nicos Weg. Episode 17: Ich war schon in Berlin. Watch the video and do the online activities.

https://learngerman.dw.com/en/ich-war-schon-in-berlin/l-37325550.

Ex. D: Nicos Weg. Episode 18: Wo liegt das? Watch episode 17 of Nicos Weg and do the online activities. In this video, you will learn about directions.

https://learngerman.dw.com/en/wo-liegt-das/l-37337877.

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German 101 by Rebecca Linam is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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