“On me”: “Auf mir” or “auf mich” – German personal pronouns in the dative and accusative case

Posted on 31. Jul, 2013 by in Grammar, Language

I received the question whether it is auf mich or auf mir, which are translated as “on me” in English. The good news is that both forms exist in German and thus they are both correct. The bad news is: Both forms are not interchangeable at will. Which form you have to use is dependent on the grammatical case of the object, that is, the personal pronoun. Is it either dative or accusative?

 

Singular

Plural

Dative

Accusative

Dative

Accusative

1st person mir – me mich – me uns – us uns – us
2nd person dir – you dich – you euch – you euch – you
3rd person ihm – him ihn – him ihnen – them sie – them
ihr – her sie  – her
ihm – it es – it

 

Example sentences in the dative case (“auf mir”)

The personal pronouns mir, dir, ihm, ihr, and ihnen indicate the dative case.

1. Ein Fluch liegt auf mir / dir / ihm / ihr / ihm / uns / euch / ihnen. – A curse rests on me / you / him / her / it / us / you / them.

2. Eine Last liegt auf mir / dir / ihm / ihr / ihm / uns / euch / ihnen. – A burden rests on me / you / him / her / it / us / you / them.

 

Example  sentences with auf mich

The personal pronouns mich, dich, ihn, sie, and es indicate the accusative case.

1. Die Rechnung geht auf mich / dich / ihn / sie / uns / euch / sie. – This is my / your/ his / her / our / their treat. (lit. The bill is on me / you / him / her / us / you / them.)

2. Wir trinken auf mich / mich / etc. – We are drinking a toast on me / you / etc.

3. Sie nimmt Rücksicht auf mich / dich / etc. – She is considerate of me / you / etc. (lit. She takes consideration on me / you / etc.)

4. Die Runde geht auf mich / dich / etc. – I / you / etc. stand the next round. (lit. The round is on me / you / etc.)

As you can see, there is no distinction – regarding the form – between dative “us” (uns) and accusative “us” (uns) as well as dative “you” (euch) and accusative “you” (euch).

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About Sandra

Hello everybody! I studied English and American Studies, Communication Science, and Political Science at the University of Greifswald. Since I have been learning English as a second language myself for almost 20 years now I know how difficult it is to learn a language other than your native one. Thus, I am always willing to keep my explanations about German grammar comprehensible and short. Further, I am inclined to encourage you to speak German in every situation. Regards, Sandra

One Response to ““On me”: “Auf mir” or “auf mich” – German personal pronouns in the dative and accusative case”

  1. Fernando Salazar 1 August 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Mist! Ein mal bin ich desperate :-)


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