Der Studentin hilft unser Lehrer (Dativ)

Sara · Lan

New Member
Chinese
Ich lerne die dritte Figur Deutsch, aber ich habe einige Zweifel an seiner Verwendung. Besonders Sätze mit ironischer Ordnung.

I must use English for the following words😅

For example,
Wem hilft unser Lehrer? & Der Studentin hilft unser Lehrer.

if compared with English, it's hard for me to consider " Der Studentin" as an indirect object.
I think the example above can transfer into English like " our teacher help the student (as a girl)", the "der Studentin" is just like a direct object.

So, I'm quite puzzled about this. Could anybody help me, please?
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    Hello

    In English the verb 'help' is transitive, i.e. it can govern a direct object (which would be accusative in German).
    But in German the verb 'helfen' is intransitive, i.e. no direct object can follow it. This verb requires/governs the dative case: He helps me = er hilft mir.
    In this respect (and in many others) German is different from English. Each language possesses its own grammar characteristics.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It’s best to learn it as an exception.

    Other examples:

    Ich glaube dir. = I believe you.
    Ich verzeihe dir. = I forgive you.
    Ich bin ihm gefolgt. = I followed him.
    Das Gebäude hat mir imponiert. = The building impressed me.
    Er weicht schwierigen Fragen aus. = He dodges hard questions.
    Ich bin dem Mann begegnet. = I encountered the man.
     

    Sara · Lan

    New Member
    Chinese
    Hello

    In English the verb 'help' is transitive, i.e. it can govern a direct object (which would be accusative in German).
    But in German the verb 'helfen' is intransitive, i.e. no direct object can follow it. This verb requires/governs the dative case: He helps me = er hilft mir.
    In this respect (and in many others) German is different from English. Each language possesses its own grammar characteristics.
    thanks, I got your point
     

    DonHolgo

    Senior Member
    German
    In this respect (and in many others) German is different from English. Each language possesses its own grammar characteristics.
    In particular, it's normally not very useful to talk about "direct" and "indirect" objects in German at all. Simply distinguish by case and remember that "helfen" has a dative object.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Ich lerne die dritte Figur Deutsch, aber ich habe einige Zweifel an seiner Verwendung. Besonders Sätze mit ironischer Ordnung.

    I must use English for the following words😅

    For example,
    Wem hilft unser Lehrer? & Der Studentin hilft unser Lehrer.

    if compared with English, it's hard for me to consider " Der Studentin" as an indirect object.
    I think the example above can transfer into English like " our teacher help the student (as a girl)", the "der Studentin" is just like a direct object.

    So, I'm quite puzzled about this. Could anybody help me, please?
    In English it is difficult to distinguish an intransitive verb with indirect object from a transitive verb with a direct object, because the case distinctions are lost. In German this is different. As direct and indirect object are distinguished by case and not by position there is no problem.

    As a consequence, in English, a verb counts as transitive if it has at least one object and in German it counts as transitive only if it has an accusative object. This difference can be demonstrated by the fact the the object of help can be used as a subject in the passive voice while this is not possible with German helfen:
    He was helped by God.:tick:
    Er wurde von Gott geholfen
    .:cross:
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Exactly. English has also lost the distinction between ditransitive verbs and verbs with direct and indirect object. In English it is the same thing, while in German those are completely different categories of verbs (German actually has only very few ditransitive verbs, like lehren).
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    In particular, it's normally not very useful to talk about "direct" and "indirect" objects in German at all. Simply distinguish by case and remember that "helfen" has a dative object.
    I agree. The terms "direct object" or "indirect object" seem to be complicated for a learner. For me, it would be enough to distinguish verbs by case in German.

    In Ancient Greek "βοηθώ" (=help) requires the dative case, probably for the same reason that "helfen" requires the dative case in German, while in Modern Greek the same verb requires the accusative case. Why? :confused:

    Therefore, it'd be more useful for a learner to just remember that "helfen" requires the dative case. At least, this is what I do in German.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Probably because the dative case is obsolete in contemporary Greek except in fixed expressions. In some used the dative has been replaced by the accusative and in some uses by the genitive.
    Sure. My point was that "transitivity" or "intransitivity" are abstract and complex concepts that pertain to a deeper level of a language. So, one has just to learn that "helfen" requires the dative without dwelling upon it.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Sure. My point was that "transitivity" or "intransitivity" are abstract and complex concepts that pertain to the deep structure of a language. So, one has just to learn that "helfen" requires the dative without dwelling upon it.
    Yes, if an only object designates a patient or a beneficiary of a verb depends on the valence structure or that verb and cannot be deduced by any rules but has to be learned. I agree.

    Languages that lack case marking of indirect and direct objects (line English or, with a few exceptions, contemporary Greek) do not have to make the distinction and can interpret all one-object verbs alike.
     
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    Thersites

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Wem hilft unser Lehrer? & Der Studentin hilft unser Lehrer.
    Diese Satzform als Antwort auf diese Frage dürfte einem ja definitiv nur in einem Deutschbuch oder in der Dichtung begegnen.

    Eine normale Antwort auf die Frage wäre Er hilft der Studentin oder einfach nur Der Studentin oder besser noch Stephanie.
     
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