Fep127 wrote:I hope someone can help me! The sentence is
Was weiß Herr Schmidt über den Toten?
I know that the corpse is that of a man. I know that 'über' being a two-way preposition, takes either the Dative or the Accusative Case. As there is no movement involved here it should take the Dative. Why then is it 'den'' suggesting the Accusative?
The movement/no movement rule of thumb only works in concrete contexts (i.e. where you have physical entities that actually could move). But when the verb is abstract--when it relates to mental processes and the like--then things get idiomatic and you basically just need to memorise which case to use. So wissen über
takes the accusative just like reden über
or denken an
. (I think most if not all abstract verbs take the accusative with two-way prepositions, but I don't want to tell you that only to remember an exception later.)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons