Reflexive Verbs Accusative vs. Dative

Hello Chatterbug Community, Hello Tutors!

I recently discussed reflexive verbs with a student. We did a couple of sentences and I honestly don’t know why some of the following sentences are accusative instead of dative. Maybe other tutors know the grammar rules.

  1. Ich kümmere mich um meine kranke Nachbarin.
  2. Ich habe mich bei dem Polizisten nach dem Weg erkundigt.
  3. Wann hast du dich mit deinem Freund verabredet?

4. Ich kann mir seinen Namen nicht merken, er ist so kompliziert.

I know that an additional object in a sentence changes accusative to dative. However, in sentence 1, 2 and 3 we also have an additional object (at least in my understanding) but they are clearly accusative, respectively dative following the preposition. Is the change from dative to accusative in sentence 1-3 due to the preposition? What distinguishes the first 3 sentences from sentence number 4?

Thanks for any thoughts on the matter.


Hello Noel,

you can tell your student that, as always in German, there are exceptions or rather verbs where the reflexive pronoun is always in the accusative or dative case. The student must learn these verbs by heart. I’ll send you a link that might explain it all again.

Link: ▷ Reflexive Verben & Reflexivpronomen — einfache Erklärung (mit Übungen)

Greetings Jens


Thanks for the link @JensFrank a student of mine @dencooler might find it interesting too :thinking:

1 Like

…and I guess another student of mine, might find it also helpful @ChereeKr


Thanks again, maybe @berguner might also benefit from your link @JensFrank