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The Basics
How to Use Articles and Related Words
Knowing a Nouns Gender
Declension of Nouns
Declension of Adjectives
Comparison of Adjectives
Using Pronouns
Using Cases

Complements | Appositions | Signifying Number Expressions | Accusative Case | Genitive Case | Habitual Time | Adverbial Genitive | Dative Case | Dative of Advantage

This lesson takes a close look at how to use the nominative, accusative, genitive and dative cases. German differs from English by way that you can change the order of the sentence without changing the meaning. Den Tee hat diese Frau bestellt. (This woman ordered the tea.) the meaning is perfectly clear and no one will think the tea ordered the woman.
Complement - when the object is the same as the subject it remains in the nominative case. This is most often used with the verbs sein, werden, bleiben, heißen, and scheinen:
Mein Bruder ist ein guter Artzt. - My brother is a good doctor.
Apposition - when two nouns are put together to qualify one another their cases must agree. These are always seperated by commas:
Unsere Tante, die Ärztin, wohnt in Berlin. - Our aunt, the doctor, lives in Berlin.
Masculine and neuter nouns denoting weight, measure, value, and any number expression don't take a plural. The noun denoting the thing quantified is invariable and not in the genitive as in English:
drei Glas Bier - three glasses of beer
zwei Paar Schuhe - two pairs of shoes
zwei Kilo Äpfel - two kilos of apples
sechs Flaschen Wein - six bottles of wine
vier Tassen Kaffee - four cups of coffee

Another instance in which English of is not used is when a place name is preceeded by a common noun defining it:
die Stadt München - the town of Munich
Madrid ist die Hauptstadt des Königreichs Spanien. - Madrid is the capitol of the kingdom of Spain.
Accusative Case:
With expressions of time, weight, value, and space:
Er war einen Monat in London. - He was in London for a month.
Ich bleibe nicht einen Tag länger. - I shan't stay a single day longer.

The verbs kosten (to cost) and lehren (to teach) always take two accusatives:
Das hat mich einen Haufen Geld gekostet. - That cost me a pile of money.
Er lehrt sie die erste Regel. - He teaches her the first rule.
Genitive Case:
The genitive noun will follow the noun that it qualifies to, unless it refers to a person name:
das Buch meines Freundes - my friend's book
die Wohnung seiner Schwester - his sister's apartment
Peters Fahrrad - Peter's bicycle
If time is habitual or indefinite the genitive is used:
eines Tages - one day
eines Sonntags - one Sunday
sonntags - on Sundays
Note: When the article is omitted it becomes lower case and becomes an adverb, but this will be explained later.)
Adverbial Genitive - corresponds to an adverbial phrase in English often but not always containing of:
Er ging schweigend seines Weges. - He went on his way without speaking.
Das ist meines Erachtens kein Fehler. - That is not a mistake in my opinion.
Dative Case:
The indirect object, it corresponds with English to:
Ich gab dem Lehrer das Buch. - I gave the book to the teacher.
Mein Bruder wird seiner Frau einen Ring geben. - My brother will give his wife a ring.

Also it takes the meaning of for or from:
Jürgen has mir Geld gestohlen. - Jürgen stole some money from me.
Sie füllte mir das Glas. - She filled the glass for me.
The dative of advantage (or disadvantage) is akin to many other dative applications:
Ich stehe meinen Kollegen zur Verfügung. - I am at my colleagues' disposal.
Ein Jahr darauf starb ihm die Frau. - A year later his wife died.
Wie geht es deinem Vatter? - How is your father (literally: How goes it with your father?)
Lesson Six - Declension of Adjectives -->