sich anziehen - dative or accusative

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ryuusaki

Member
English & Chinese
I understand that mich is used in the accusative case, while mir is used in the dative case; but it is very confusing sometimes which to use.

Eg. I dress myself. --> Ich trage mich.

However, what if I want to say,

1. I dress myself with a pair of trousers./2. I dress a pair of trousers to myself.

Should it be,

Ich trage mich eine Hose. oder Ich trage mir eine Hose.

Because in case 1, myself is the direct object, but in case 2, the pair of trousers is the direct object.

Please explain it to me in English. I can't read German.

Thanks for your help.
 
  • Aurin

    Senior Member
    Alemania (alemán)
    I understand that mich is used in the accusative case, while mir is used in the dative case; but it is very confusing sometimes which to use.

    Eg. I dress myself. --> Ich trage mich.

    However, what if I want to say,

    1. I dress myself with a pair of trousers./2. I dress a pair of trousers to myself.

    Should it be,

    Ich trage mich eine Hose. oder Ich trage mir eine Hose.

    Because in case 1, myself is the direct object, but in case 2, the pair of trousers is the direct object.

    Please explain it to me in English. I can't read German.

    Thanks for your help.
    If you use "tragen", you can´t use "mich" nor "mir", because it isn´t reflexive.
    You can say: Ich ziehe mir eine Hose an. Ich ziehe mich an.
    "Sich anziehen" is a reflexive verb. If you want to say what you put on, than "mir" (dir, sich, uns, euch) is in dative case and what you put on is in accusative case. If you only say that you dress, than "mich" (dich, sich, uns, euch) is in accusative case.
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    I understand that mich is used in the accusative case, while mir is used in the dative case; but it is very confusing sometimes which to use.

    Eg. I dress myself. --> Ich trage mich.
    "Tragen" is like "to wear", so it doesn't translate the way you wanted, as others said.

    You have two choices:
    1. to dress someone (without specifying the clothes) - jemanden anziehen (accusative)
    --- Sie zieht ihr Kind warm an.
    --- Du ziehst dich immer sehr langsam an. *
    --- Ich ziehe mich elegant an. *
    2. to dress someone in something (in German it looks like "to put on something to someone) - jemandem (dative) etwas (accusative) anziehen
    --- Sie zieht ihrem Kind eine Mütze an.
    --- Du ziehst dir oft Jeans an. *
    --- Ich ziehe mir etwas Elegantes an. *

    Note that reflexive verbs (*) are just a special case of "normal" verbs - when the subject performs the action on himself/herself.

    However, what if I want to say,

    1. I dress myself with a pair of trousers./2. I dress a pair of trousers to myself.
    Both of them need "jemandem etwas anziehen". You simply reshuffled the word order in the English sentence but it has no implication whatsoever for German. Whenever you specify the pieces of clothes, the person that gets dressed is in the dative case. When you only "get someone dressed", take "jemanden anziehen".
     

    ryuusaki

    Member
    English & Chinese
    thanks. =] but just one more question, how can you tell whether a verb is reflexive? Or you can only look it up in the dictionary?
     

    uguban

    Senior Member
    Germany, german
    thanks. =] but just one more question, how can you tell whether a verb is reflexive? Or you can only look it up in the dictionary?
    As your native languages seem to be English and Chinese, you have just to learn by heart, weather a verb is reflexive or not (and in many cases which preposition it takes), e.g.

    to remember = sich erinnern an
    to look forward to = sich freuen auf
    to be angry about = sich ärgern über
     
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