Talk:Dative case

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I don't see what Tsez has to do in this article. While I appreciate the addition, I believe that it serves no purpose to explain the dative of a language that only 7000 people in the world can understand. Mixaelus 20:14, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion it's a good example to show for what the dative case is used in other non-IE languages, in this case, it also has a local function, and it's used for subjects with verbs of perception and feeling. This works similar with other Northeast Caucasian languages, perhaps also with Northwest ones... I'm not sure, but this could even be a common feature among absolute/ergative languages. Thus, it represents far more than just 7000 speakers. I just happen to know more about Tsez than about any other Caucasian or ergative language. — N-true 21:07, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you please point that out in the respective section? We don't want to confuse our readers. Or, better yet, change the heading to 'Dative Case in Non-Indo-European languages'. It's up to you. Mixaelus 04:14, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Hm, okay, might be a good idea. — N-true 11:19, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I gave the rest of the examples for Greek. The dative in Greek has other locative/temporal functions as well, which I should be adding soon. For the time being, however, please correct as you see appropriate. Mixaelus 20:53, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

The article for "Indirect object" links here, but no example of the distinction between direct and indirect object is given....

I added the example of "the dativus instrumenti" in Classical Greek. If it's inaccurate, please do fix it. Thanks -Yazeed.

Now that I added the bit about "methinks" as an example of dative case in English, I find myself doubting whether I should have done so. Is it not an example of excessive anglocentrism? While this Wikipedia's primary language is English, it may seem a bit presumptuous to illustrate perfectly universal categories and topics (such as "dative case") with examples from the English language. Or not? I'm not sure. --AV

"This is the English Wikipedia". While there are probably many multilingual users, English is the only language we should assume that the readers possess. Examples in English *are* most universal, given that assumption.

I'm also of the opinion that provoking people to think more about the structures and idiosyncracies of their native language is a good thing. -- Paul Drye

I think the English "methinks" is a bit of a historical oddity, and while it is useful as a historical tidbit, it is a confusing example. I think giving an example from Latin, or some other language with cases (Russian, Finish, etc. -- take your pick) would be more useful. Especially since the Old English that "methinks" derives from is probably different from the modern word "methinks". -- SJK

The main page says that the Dative has dissapeared from English grammar. This I'd agree with only in the sense that the dative has no inflection distinct from the accusative case. It occurs in such sentences as 'He gave me it' and 'He built me a snowman'. I boths examples 'me' is dative. -- Karl Palmen

Who says "he gave me it"? That sounds (to my ears, anyway) really colloquial and ungrammatical. Or is it just me?

Colloquial, yes. Awkward, yes. But it is indeed grammatical. You would say, for example, "he gave me that", which is an identical construction with a different pronoun. --LDC

Everyone says "he gave me it" or at any rate "he gave me one", "he gave me that", "he gave me more than I asked for", "she wrote me a letter", etc. Why do you think that it is it awkward? I use sentences like "My wife bought me a doughnut" all the time (dative "me"). Are you saying that you would use "My wife bought a doughnut for me" in preference ? Surely not. -- Derek Ross

Of course not, and you missed my point. I replaced "He gave me it" with "He gave me that" in the example in the article, because "He gave me it" is very awkward and colloquial. The other uses of the dative "me" that you specified are not colloquial or awkward, and are perfectly legitimate in formal speech.

Yes, that's probably the best thing to do. I have no idea why people don't generally say "he gave me it" when it is parallel to the other examples. Ask Steven Pinker or George Lakoff. --LDC

I think you'll find that the answer to any question that begins with "I wonder why English...." is "Because English is a mess." :) -- Paul Drye

I sometimes use "he gave me it", but not very often. I use "he gave it me" as well, missing out the "to".

"he gave it me" is not grammatical to my ear. Netrapt (talk) 13:47, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


Roughly 25% of German verbs, generally those pertaining directly to an act of giving, require the dative for their direct objects.... Ich gebe ihr... ("I give her...")

I may be wrong, but at least in this example isn't ihr the indirect object, with whatver's being given the direct object? -- 14:21, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

The examples using geben and sagen are both incorrect. In each case, the objects cited are in the dative because they are INdirect objects. This is obvious, because neither example makes sense without also having a direct object (in the accusative). "Ich gebe ihr (ind obj:dative) das Buch (dir obj:akk)" and "Sag uns (ind obj:dat) deine Telefonnummer (dir obj:akk)". In both cases, the direct object could be an entire subordinate clause.

While there are German verbs that have (apparently) direct objects in the dative, I believe that most verbs pertaining to giving require both indirect and direct objects, in the dative and accusative cases, respectively.

From the front page today: "The name Éire is the dative form in modern Irish Gaelic of the name for the goddess Eriu, a mythical figure who aided the Gaels conquer Ireland as described in the Book of Invasions."

I did not see Gaelic or Irish on the list. (What about Scottish?) I leave it to the experts here to work out the details. Leonard G. 04:34, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

First sentence wrong?[edit]

The first sentence indicates that the dative case is used to mark a direct object. However, the rest of the article implies that the dative case is used for the indirect object! Someone who knows a bit more about this should clarify this. Perhaps a section comparing the dative and accustive cases would be in order, along with their correlations with direct and indirect objects. --Scorpiuss

Yes, the introduction is wrong. (talk) 14:56, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

German examples[edit]

The two German examples given in the article, while not technically incorrect, are somewhat awkward:

  • Ich gebe das Buch zum Kassierer
  • Ich habe das Buch an meinen Freund geschenkt.

A German speaker would say neither of these things - rather, they'd say "Ich gebe das Buch dem Kassierer" and "Ich habe das Buch meinem Freund geschenkt". -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 22:25, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Merge Dative construction here[edit]

Please see discussion on the other article's talk page. CapnPrep 16:10, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Greek Dative Usages[edit]

Another usage that could be included is the dative of reference, which denotes the person in whose opinion a statement holds true, for example, "ἔχθιστος δέ μοί ἐσσι διοτρεφέων βασιλήων" "to me you are the most hateful of the Zeus-cherished kings" (Iliad 1.176)

Dative case in Russian and related[edit]

I'm not convinced that in a sentence 'I call John', John is the direct object, John is the indirect object here. The direct object is the message you relay to him which is explicit per context as that's usually what a phone call does. Analogous to 'I give John a book' we obtain 'I call John a message.' Or even more explicitly 'I write John a letter'. The person whom one calls is an indirect object I believe, not a direct object. Rajakhr (talk) 05:54, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

But unlike your examples with give and write, "I call a message (to John)" and "I call John a message" are not grammatical. So "a message" is not the direct object. This does not mean that "John" is necessarily the direct object in "I call John", but I don't see any good reasons to say otherwise. (For example, one might be tempted to say that "John" is an indirect object in "I wrote John" because you can also say "I wrote to John". But "I call to John" does not mean the same thing as "I call John".) CapnPrep (talk) 17:27, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
'I call John a message' is grammatical I'd reckon, it's just not said a lot as 'calling' implies what is said. However saying 'I just called John a very angry message after he ate all children in the school.' is done more often as the angry part of if is not implied by the calling itself. The two examples you gave, the only language I feel I have a sufficient command over that uses a dative case is German, and there with the verb 'anrufen', using the dative or accusative case means a very slight nuance which is comparable to 'I call to John' and 'I call John', I think the Russian use of the dative is semantically more akin to 'I call to John' but the presence of the 'to' in English connotates a very marginal difference. Rajakhr (talk) 09:02, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's still not grammatical ("*I just called John a very angry message…"). It just doesn't work with this meaning of call (= phone). CapnPrep (talk) 12:18, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that is unusual / poetic but grammatical. Regardless, a native speaker of Russian has just informed me that in Russian, it is possible to put the message you relay with the verb as ditransitive, which is then put into the accusative case, which makes it all but completely out of question that the person whom you call to is the indirect object, not the direct and the message you put through is the direct object, in Russian at least. Rajakhr (talk) 17:08, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The Dative Case in English[edit]

"In British usage, "Give it to me" can be rendered as either "Give me it" or in American usage "Give it me."" I am fairly certain that "Give it me" is not correct grammar in the English language. I cannot think of a situation in English where an indirect object is not preceded by a preposition. I suggest that the quoted text be removed. Philmac (talk) 04:28, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

--- BY Anirban Nag.......... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

finalis examples in Greek[edit]

How are these delineated from the commodi? The king benefits from my fighting; honor benefits from my death. Maybe other examples should be used in the finalis case. -- (talk) 01:33, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Slavic dative[edit]

The section on Slavic begins with discussion of endings, something that's not the most important thing. For Latin and Greek endings are not discussed at all. Croatian (my native language) uses possessive and ethical dative a lot, Greek and Latin examples could be translated almost word-by-word with the same meaning. I think the section should be reworked emphasizing use of datives, which is as complex as in Greek (actually, slightly less so, since most Slavic languages have more cases than Greek and they take some functions of the Greek dative. Opinions? dnik 10:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of Armenian section[edit]

I deleted the Armenian section because it was completely wrong.

grandexandi (talk) 12:02, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Subdivision by language[edit]

I think it's not particularly helpful to have only sections by language. For instance, the ethic dative is a rather universal concept which can be used to interpret linguistic phenomena in several languages. Some instances come straight from Latin, but not all of them. --Nemo 21:09, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps no one is an expert in Greek, Latin, Lithuanian and German but these subsections focus on different aspects. In German we have the grammar, in Greek and Latin the different modes and in Lithuanian the resemblance to proto-Indoeuropean.Skamnelis (talk) 15:28, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Is dative a single case?[edit]

It is clear from the examples in Greek, Latin and German that the dative has other uses besides giving. There are even uses not included, such as the locative dative (dative of time). A line in the introduction mentions assimilation of other now-extinct cases. Are there any hypotheses of what these were and how the dative evolved? Or is the name "dative" misleading and it is - and was, indeed - a single case pertaining to indirect objects?Skamnelis (talk) 14:55, 25 March 2014 (UTC)