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How to ask for a dative object?

[For a quick answer see example sentences 11 and 12.]

For the time being, I decide without asking any grammar. For me a single 'What? ' only be nominative or accusative, but not dative:

1 * what does the weak script not affect? - Answer: the tension

On the other hand, since there is no communicative reason to ask such a question, there is a dativeWhat no real need either.

Also the free-standing indefinite pronoun 'something'As a dative object - unlike behind a dative-demanding preposition - is at least questionable [see note 1]:

2 * /? He tried to avoid something that was lying on the road

Is reversed 'who?' 'whom?' 'whom? ' in all cases in which one understands these question pronouns in relation to persons can, interpreted as a question about a person:

3 who can you not follow?

would rather be interpreted as

4 which person can you not follow in their argumentative train of thought?


5 what evidence cannot you follow?

The question would be whether societies (groups of persons), corporations, organizations are not also understood as person-analogous - i.e. as non-objective - and with 'who who whom'can be addressed.

On the other hand, the system of question and indefinite pronouns related to things has spaces for me [see Notes 1 and 2]. Again can 'whose? ' however, they can also be used in relation to genitive objects:

6 of what was he accused?

However, such objects are (often?) In a contiguity relationship with personal authors.

If a

7 who do you still remember?

understood in relation to a person or thing could be contextual; the sentence is stylistically 'lifted' and sounds artificial nowadays, one would rather ask

8 what / what do you still remember?


9 who do you remember?

Possibly correct, but stylistically broken over the knee, questions about factual dates sound like 'what thing' / 'what thing'. Such questions are thought up by grammarians, they do not occur in natural language. The meaning 'something'in the dative can (often?) with'a thing'are reproduced:

10 he tried to avoid something (or: an object) on the road

With the requested sentences, I only see the following options:

11 Which vehicle are you following?

or, since a not free-standing 'What'' can also be used after a preposition in the dative, you can use another verb followed by a prepositional object:

12 What are you after?

[Note 1] In the Duden grammar 2006 it says on p. 323 under margin no. 419: "The indefinite (...) something (...) does not receive any inflection endings (...) It occurs as an article word and pronoun in the nominative and accusative as well as after prepositions (including those with the dative) (...) "

[Note 2] The Duden grammar from 2006 writes on p. 314 under margin no. 406: "There is a gap in the question of inanimate dative objects, you have to make do with paraphrase: * Who is this house like? (Can only be used as a dative from who can be understood as a question about a person. Possible solution: What is this house comparable to?) "