The Luxembourgish Accusative Case – Personal Pronouns – mech, dech, iech…

If you’ve already been studying Luxembourgish for a while, you probably aren’t sure when to use echmech, mir, du, dech, dir, iech …  with certain verbs or prepositions. It can be difficult to understand why you hear or use  one instead of another. Those of you who have some knowledge of Luxembourgish know that the cases are one of the most tricky parts of learning Luxembourgish.

Take a look at the following two sentences about the boy and the dog:

       1 De Jong kuckt den Hond. – The boy looks at the dog.

  2 Den Hond bäisst de Jong. –   The dog bites the boy.

What changes in these 2 sentences?

In sentence 1, the boy – de Jong- is nominative, whereas in the second sentence, de Jong is accusative. We have here for de Jong a change in cases from nominative to accusative.

Let’s look at the difference between the nominative and accusative cases:

What is the nominative case?

In sentence 1

de Jong is the subject of the sentence. He is the one doing the action (kuckt) to the dog. This means that de Jong is in nominative case. The nominative word in a sentence is the subject: the person or thing that is doing the action indicated by the verb.

What is the accusative case?

In  sentence 2

Den Hond is now the subject, and de Jong is accusative.

Den Hond (the dog), having an action done to it, is accusative in the first sentence. This is  called the direct object in English. The accusative word in a sentence is the direct object: the person or thing that is being acted upon.

The Luxembourgish articles in the accusative case do not change, i.e. they remain the same as in the nominative case. BUT the personal pronouns do!

In the previous lesson I introduced you to the 3 Luxembourgish cases and in this lesson I will go more in depth about the personal pronouns in the accusative case.

The Personal Pronouns in the Accusative

Take a look at the following sentence:

Ech hunn dech gär. – I love you.

We don’t say “Ech hunn du gär” no, no, no!

du (personal pronoun in the nominative case)  becomes dech in the accusative.

Nominative                        Accusative

ech    (I)                                  mech  (me)

du     (you)                             dech   (you)

hien   (he)                              hien  (him)

hatt   (she)                             hatt   (her)

si      (she-form)                     si      (her-form)

et       (it)                                 et       (it)

mir    (we)                              eis   (us)

dir    (you-pl & form)           iech  (you-pl & form)

si     (they)                               si   (them)


Examples with verbs requiring the accusative case

Héieren – to hear

Héiers du mech? –  Do you hear me?

Jo, ech héieren dech. – Yes, I hear you.  

Héiers du d’Geräisch? Jo, ech héieren et. –  Do you hear the noise? Yes, I hear it.

Gesinn – to see

Ech gesinn hien net. – I don’t see him.

Kanns du si gesinn? – Can you see them?

Verstoen – to understand

Verstees du hatt? – Do you understand her?

Ech hunn iech net verstanen. – I haven’t understood you.

Froen – to ask

Ech hunn hien eppes gefrot. – I have asked him something.

Ech froe mech, wou meng Kaz ass. – I am wondering, where my cat is. 

My learning tip:

Those are just just a few verbs requiring the accusative case but it is just good to know a few verbs, the most common ones and to use them WELL, rather than knowing many and hesitating in conversation. AND keep practicing!! Practicing makes perfect! That’s the most efficient way that is sticks in your head:-)

Watch this lesson on my Youtube channel so to learn some more verbs by practicing along with me (Übungen – exercises)!!


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