Verbs with Dative Complements

On this page you'll learn everything about verbs with dative complements. Complements are really important to help you know whether you should use the nominativeaccusativedative, or genitive case.

But first, you have to know what a complement is. If you aren't sure, take a look at this page on complements in the German language.

Dative Complements

There are very few verbs with dative complements. When a verb always has a dative complement, the direct object is in the dative case (not accusative).


  • Wem antwortet sie?“ – „Sie antwortet ihrem Vater.

    "ihrem Vater" "antworten" has a dative complement → Even when it is the direct object, the dative case must be used.
Achtung Hinweis


Prepositions can replace the dative complement and create a "prepositional complement":

  • Sie antwortet auf die Frage ihres Vaters.“



There is no rule explaining all cases, so you have to memorize the verbs that use dative complements. Marking them with different colors will with this.

  • „Die Frau hilft dem Mann.“
  • „Ich glaube meinem Vater.“
  • „Die Hose passt mir nicht.“

Here is my list of dative verbs.

Word Order

Normal Sentences:



Some verbs have dative complements.There are no rules for which verbs require it. You just have to learn it.

These verbs require the direct object to be in the dative case. However, if prepositions are involved, that goes out the window. If you have a preposition in front of a noun, it’s no longer an object - the rule of the preposition applies → The preposition always determines the case.

Related Topics:

All the info you need for the various complements in German:

If you aren't confident in using cases, look at these lessons again: NominativeAccusativeDative and Genitive.

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