Dative Case

The dative case (abbreviated dat, or sometimes d when it is a core argument) is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to which something is given, as in "George gave Jamie a drink".

In general, the dative marks the indirect object of a verb, although in some instances the dative is used for the direct object of a verb pertaining directly to an act of giving something. In Russian and Swiss German, 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 Ancient Greek, the dative has the functions of the Proto-Indo-European locative and instrumental as well as those of the original dative.

Sometimes the dative has functions unrelated to giving. In Scottish Gaelic and Irish, the term dative case is misleadingly used in traditional grammars to refer to the prepositional case-marking of nouns following simple prepositions and the definite article. In Georgian, the dative case also marks the subject of the sentence in some verbs and some tenses. This is also called the dative construction.

The dative was common among early Indo-European languages and has survived to the present in the Balto-Slavic branch and the Germanic branch, among others. It also exists in similar forms in several non-Indo-European languages, such as the Uralic family of languages, Altaic family of languages and Japanese (sometimes considered as Altaic).

Under the influence of English, which uses the preposition "to" for both indirect objects (give to) and directions of movement (go to), the term "dative" has sometimes been used to describe cases that in other languages would more appropriately be called lative.

Read more about Dative CaseEtymology, English, German, Latin, Greek, Slavic Languages, Baltic Languages, Armenian, Sanskrit

Other articles related to "case, dative, dative case, cases":

German Adverbial Phrases - Prepositional Phrases
... The case of the nominal phrase can be accusative or dative ... Some prepositions always take the accusative case and some always take the dative case ... way prepositions, take either the accusative case or the dative case depending on the phrase's exact meaning ...
Dative Case - Non-Indo-European Languages - Tsez
... In the Northeast Caucasian languages, such as Tsez, the dative also takes the functions of the lative case in marking the direction of an action ... some linguists, they are still regarded as two separate cases in those languages, although the suffixes are exactly the same for both cases ... only for the purpose of separating syntactic cases from locative cases ...
Examples - Georgian Dative Construction
... The dative construction is very common in Georgian ... The dative construction of Georgian differs somewhat from German in that the dative case agrees with a certain person marking on the verb ... The dative construction occurs in the perfect (not perfective) tense of transitive verbs and in all the tenses of some verbs, such as "to want", "to have ...
German Grammar - Nouns - Cases - Genitive
... First evidence of a decline of the genitive case can already be found in colloquial language of Early New High German (spoken from 1350 to 1650) ... translated the Bible into German, the use of the Genitive case (along with the Preterite) was already rather unusual in most of the German dialects ... Today the use of the genitive case is still rare in spoken language - speakers often substitute the dative case for it in conversation, quite similar to the language's Germanic relative ...
Latvian Prepositions - Dative Case
... which can be used like prepositions or postpositions, in combination with a dative noun phrase cauri - through garām - past, over, by iepretim - in front of līdzi - with pāri - over, across pret ...

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