When should you use the accusative case in a sentence?

The accusative case should be used when there is a DIRECT OBJECT in the sentence. It is usually what the verb is 'doing', for example, the dog ate the bone. The bone would be the object and, therefore, in German you would use the accusative case (Der Hund isst DEN Knochen).

However, there are exceptions! You should not use the accusative case if the object follows the verb 'to be' (sein) e.g. I am a boy. Instead, you should use the nominative case. So it would be 'Ich bin EIN Junge' instead of 'Ich bin einen Junge'.  

Rachel H. GCSE French tutor, GCSE German tutor, GCSE History tutor

2 years ago

Answered by Rachel, a GCSE German tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£18 /hr

Rachel H.

Degree: Physics and Astronomy with a Year Abroad (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: German, Science+ 3 more


“Hey, I'm Rachel and I'm a fourth year Physics Student at Durham University. My best subjects at school were always science and maths and really enjoyed using my knowledge to help my friends to understand the topics better, if they were...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Emma H.

Degree: MA Transnational Studies (Masters) - Southampton University

Subjects offered: German, Spanish+ 1 more


“Hi there! My name is Emma and I am currently doing a masters at the University of Southampton. My Bachelor's degree was French, Spanish and German and I have lived in all three countries. I worked as an au pair in Spain and privately...”

MyTutor guarantee

£18 /hr

Christopher D.

Degree: International Relations with Year Abroad (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: German


“Hallo und herzliches Willkommen zu meinem Profil! I’m Chris, I’m a student of international relations at Durham University, and I’m a German tutor here on MyTutor. As an exchange student currently studying in Germany for my year abroa...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

Rachel H.

Currently unavailable:

Degree: Archaeology (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: German, History+ 1 more


“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Rachel

How do you form the conditional?

When should you use the accusative case in a sentence?

Other GCSE German questions

How do you use the Nominative Case in German?

When do I use "sein" in the perfect tense?

Why exactly did Petra's grandfather want to see the film?

How does the gender of German nouns work?

View GCSE German tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss