Gib das Haus meiner Tochter.

English Translation

Give the house to my daughter.

I’m confused by the use of ‘meiner Tochter’ here. My first instinct would be to translate that as ‘of my daughter’ as I learnt that the Genetive case indicates possession, although that would make little sense in this sentence. However, ‘to my daughter’ doesn’t make sense to me either. Is this construction common in German?

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Yes, it’s pretty common. “Meiner” is in the dative case (feminine noun), meaning “to my…”


Your confusion is absolutely understandable.

Both your interpretations are grammatically correct, but to understand it as possession would be unusual.

However, if there are two persons in the sentence, than the first is indicating possession. Compare:

Gib das Haus meiner Tochter meiner Tante.
(Give my daughter’s house to my aunt)
Gib das Haus meiner Tante meiner Tochter.
(Give my aunt’s house to my daughter)

It is more elegant in these cases to say “Gib das Haus meiner Tochter an meine Tante”)


Thanks to the both of you. For some reason, I had forgetten that the dative case is also meiner.

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