dative case

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dative case (plural dative cases)

  1. (grammar) Case used to express direction towards an indirect object, the receiver, and is generally indicated in English by to or for with the objective case. However, if there is emphasis on the indirect object, the indirect object usually goes before the direct object and is not usually indicated with to or for. This second structure is also used when neither object is being emphasized.
    They gave gifts to the sailors.
    They give water to the plants.
    They gave the sailors gifts.
    They give the plants water.


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