Mein Zimmer – and the dative case…

1 Hörtext | Audiotext: Das ist mein Zimmer

2 Präsentation | Presentation

The little presentation below shows you how to describe the position of a tennis ball in German. After you can do this, all else will follow. Honestly!

Mein Zimmer, Teil eins upload.pdf 

3 About the Dative Case

When I first discovered the dative case in German, I distinctly remember thinking, “I’ll never get this.” But with practice it has become much easier. Don’t forget, native speakers are actually very forgiving if you mess it up. Even if their ears are bleeding.

One use of the dative case is to describe the location of people, objects and animals. If your cat is lying on the carpet in front of the fire or hiding under the bed, you’ll need to use prepositions along with the dative case to explain this. If for some odd reason you keep your undies in your sock drawer, you’ll need the dative case to describe that. If your German teacher wants to know where your homework is and you want to say that it’s on your desk between the computer and the bookcase, you’ll need the dative case. If your face erupts in pimples and there’s a particularly big one on your nose, you’ll need to call upon the dative case once more when describing your plight to a friend.

Handy prepositions that are often used to indicate position

Prepositions In English Example in a German Sentence In English
auf on Der Computer ist auf dem Schreibtisch. The computer is on the desk.
in in Die Katze ist in dem Schrank. The cat is in the cupboard.
neben beside, next to Die Klingel ist neben der Haustür. The doorbell is beside the front door.
unter under Der Hund liegt unter dem Sofa. The dog is lying under the sofa.
zwischen between Normalerweise schläft die Katze zwischen dem Mann und der Frau. The cat normally sleeps between the man and the woman.

The dative case is often used along with these prepositions that show the exact position of something. When someone asks you the question, “Where is it?” in German, you will need to use the dative case in your answer.

To read more about the dative case, these sites might be useful to you:

Some simple examples…

Nominative Question Answer with Dative Example
die Schultasche (schoolbag)

Wo ist das Arbeitsblatt?

Where is the handout?

In der Schultasche

In the schoolbag

der Tisch (table)

Wo ist die Katze?

Where is the cat?

Unter dem Tisch

Under the table

die Schublade (drawer)

Wo sind die Socken?

Where are the socks?

In der Schublade

In the drawer

der Computer, das Bücherregal (bookcase)

Wo sind die Hausaufgaben? Where is the homework?

Zwischen dem Computer und dem Bücherregal

Between the computer and the bookcase

die Tasche (pocket) Wo ist dein iPod? Where is your iPod?

In meiner Tasche

In my pocket

die Nase (nose) Wo ist der Pickel? Where is the pimple?

Auf der Nase

On the/my nose

 A little summary table showing how “the” and “a/an” change in the dative case:

Article Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
the der die das die
a/an ein eine ein
the dem der dem den
a/an einem einer einem

4 Quizlet

The Quizlet below introduces vocabulary that will help you to describe your room at home. It also includes many sentences in which the position of objects or pieces of furniture in a room is described. 

Die Fahrräder stehen vor dem Cafe.
The bikes are in front of the cafe.
Die Tasse ist auf der Untertasse. Die Untertasse ist auf dem Tisch. Der Löffel ist auf der Untertasse, neben der Tasse. Die Sonnenbrille ist neben der Untertasse. Die Sonnenbrille ist auch auf dem Tisch. Der Kaffee war lecker.
The cup is on the saucer. The saucer is on the table. The spoon is on the saucer, beside the cup. The sunglasses are beside the saucer. The sunglasses are also on the table. The coffee was delicious.
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