dative case

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They gave gifts to the sailors.
They give water to the plants.
They gave the sailors gifts.
They give the plants water.
Jimmy has said prayers for a pony for several years, now.
Jimmy has prayed for a pony for several years, now.

dative case (plural dative cases)

  1. (grammar) Case used to express direction towards an indirect object, the recipient or beneficiary of an action, and is generally indicated in English by to (when a recipient) or for (when a beneficiary) with the objective case. The direct object may be either stated or unstated where the indirect object is the beneficiary of the verbal action, but is stated where the indirect object is a recipient. If there is emphasis on the indirect object, the indirect object usually precedes the direct object and is not usually indicated with to or for; said structure is also used when neither object is being emphasized.


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