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- Created 2012-03-23
, or sometimes when it is a
) is a
generally used to indicate the
to which something is given, as in "George gave
In general, the dative marks the
, although in some instances the dative is used for the
of a verb pertaining directly to an act of giving something. In
, for example, the verb "to call (by telephone)" is always followed by a noun in the dative.
The thing being given may be a tangible object, such as "a book" or "a pen", or it may be an intangible abstraction, such as "an answer" or "help".
In some languages, the dative case has assimilated the functions of other now-extinct cases. In
, the dative has the functions of the
as well as those of the original dative.
Sometimes the dative has functions unrelated to giving. In
, the term
is misleadingly used in traditional grammars to refer to the
-marking of nouns following simple
s and the definite article. In
, the dative case also marks the subject of the sentence in some verbs and some tenses. This is called the
The dative was common among early
and has survived to the present in the
branch and the
branch, among others. It also exists in similar forms in several non-Indo-European languages, such as the
family of languages, and
Under the influence of English, which uses the preposition "to" for both indirect objects (
) and directions of movement (
), the term "dative" has sometimes been used to describe cases that in other languages would more appropriately be called
from Wikipedia (last updated: 12 December), licensed under
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German dative case
Hungarian dative case
Declension in English
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