Dative Case

  angbeenc  —  Grammar Tips

The grammatical cases in English language are very important to know if you want to excel in English writing and speaking. There are various types of grammatical cases in English language which you must familiarize yourself with. You can find my articles about each case separately on my blog page.

Today, I will discuss about the less talked about and the least common type of grammatical case that is the dative case. We will discuss the usage, identification and examples of dative case in detail.

Dative Case

While the accusative case refers to the direct object of a sentence, dative case is opposite as it refers to the indirect object of the sentence.

The dictionary definition of dative case is that when a noun or a pronoun refers to the indirect object of the sentence, then that particular noun or a pronoun is said to be in dative case of English grammar.


Sam took his dog to the vet.

In the above example, notice that Sam is the subject and took is the verb. Ask took who? and you will easily identify the direct object dog. What about the vetThe vet is the indirect object of this sentence as it is related to the subject and direct object but not indirect object itself. Thus the vet is the noun that is in dative case in this sentence.  


She gave Tom the parcel.

Exactly like the above sentence, this sentence also contains a subject, verb, direct object and indirect object.

She is the subject whereas gave is the verb. Ask gave what? and the answer is the parcel which is the direct object. Tom is the indirect object of this sentence, and it exists as a dative case.

In conclusion, the noun or pronoun that is existing as an indirect object in a sentence, is said to be in dative case.



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