Verbs that take the accusative form

to want
to open
to seek
to close
to honor
to greet
to read
to write
to sew
to sing
to finish
to dance
to see
to remember
to think
to rotate
to attack
to twist
to throw
to ask
to choose
to take off

Verbs and the Accusative and Dative Cases

Certain verbs in Albanian always take the Accusative Case (rasa kallëzore)—that is, they take only
direct objects. Other verbs take only Dative Case (rasa dhanore)—that is, they only take indirect objects.
However, most verbs can take either Accusative or Dative Case, or both, depending on the context. (See
the section on the Use of Clitics for more information on verbs and cases.)

In general, Albanian verbs are frequently similar to English verbs: if a verb in English can have either a
direct or an indirect object, or both, then it can usually do the same thing in Albanian. However, there are
still lots of important and not entirely intuitive counterexamples and differences.

It is probably easiest to start with the verbs that can never take Accusative Case. These are the reflexive
verbs (the ones that end in –(h)em, -(h)esh, -(h)et, -(h)emi, -(h)eni, or –(h)en. See the section on
Reflexive Verbs for more information about these.). These verbs always take an indirect object (a
noun in Dative Case), because technically the direct object of all these verbs is the subject itself. Since
reflexive verbs represent subjects doing things to themselves or having things done to themselves, they
always already have a direct object, but this direct object is understood from the form of the verb; it isn’t
anywhere in the sentence. However, many of the reflexive verbs take indirect objects, so we frequently
encounter them with the Dative Case.

Unë do t’i përgjigjem Sandrës. (I will answer Sandra.) [përgjigjem- to answer]
Poezia kushtohet nënës sime. (The poem is dedicated to my mother.) [kushtohem- to be dedicated]
Nuk më hahet. (I can’t eat it. LITERALLY: It is not eaten to me.) [hahem- to be eaten]

Having discussed the verbs that are never used with the Accusative Case, let’s move on to the verbs that
almost always (if not always) are used with the Accusative Case. These verbs generally take a direct
object (although some of them can also take both a direct and indirect object). That is to say, they express
an action that one person or thing can only do directly to another person or thing: want it, know it, open
it, close it, wait for it, love it, call it on the phone, invite it, oblige it, learn it, begin it, finish it, understand
it, ask it, etc. Thus, the verbs dua (to want/love), di (to know), hap (to open), mbyll (to close), pres (to
wait for), dashuroj (to love), ftoj (to invite), detyroj (to oblige), mësoj (to learn/teach), filloj (to begin),
mbaroj (to finish), kuptoj (to understand), pyes (to ask), etc. all take Accusative Case (or else they take
both Accusative and Dative Case—more on this later).

These are all verbs that describe actions which generally involve the subject of the sentence acting on
only one object, directly. I want something, I know something, I open something, I love someone, I invite
someone, I ask someone, etc. They don’t generally express a subject acting indirectly on the object of the

Unë dua një makiato. (I want a macchiato.)
E di që s’ke shumë kohë. (I know that you don’t have a lot of time.)
Hape derën, të lutem. (Open the door, please.)
Ai dashuron shumë motrën e tij. (He loves his sister very much.)
Ajo do të na ftojë të pimë një kafe. (She is going to invite us to have a coffee.)
Nuk të pyeta ty. (I didn’t ask you.)
[Note: In English, the verb “to ask” can take both a direct and an indirect object, because in English, we
often say “to ask a question”. Thus, the sentence “She asked me a question.” has both a direct object
(the question) and an indirect object (me). In Albanian, the verb “pyes” carries the meaning of “to ask a
question”, so it takes the person being asked as its direct object, not the question being asked.]

Now let’s look at verbs that almost always (if not always) take Dative Case (verbs that take indirect

objects). These are often verbs describing interactions, either verbal or physical (speaking, yelling,
getting onto, getting off of, etc.). In general, verbs that take Dative Case are a little less intuitive for
English speakers, since we often indicate indirect objects in sentences with the help of prepositions (“to
her”, “for him”, “at me”, “from it”, etc.) and don’t necessarily think of them as being closely connected
to the verb. Some verbs that take Dative Case in Albanian are: flas (to speak), bërtas (to yell), thërras
(to call to), bie (to hit), dal (to go out/appear), besoj (to believe), hipi (to get on/ascend), zbres (to get off
of/go down), përkas (to belong to), mungoj (to be absent from/miss), pëlqej (to like/be pleasing to), and
them (to say/tell).

Mos ki merak, do t’u flas unë atyre. (Don’t worry, I will talk to them.)
Pse më bërtite mua? (Why did you yell at me?)
Kush do t’i bjerë ziljes? (Who is going to ring the bell?)
Lapsat i përkasin Sandrës. (The pencils belong to Sandra.)
Një dokument i mungon dosjes. (A document is missing from the dossier.)
Neve na pëlqejnë shumë ata. (We like them a lot. LITERALLY: They are very pleasing to us.)
‘Karriges’ i thonë ‘chair’ në anglisht. (‘Karrige’ is ‘chair’ in English. LITERALLY: ‘Karrige’ they
say ‘chair’ in English.)
[Note: The verb “them”, somewhat inexplicably, only takes indirect objects, even though it seems like
it should both direct and indirect objects. It seems like “the thing said” and “who it is said to” should be
different kinds of objects, but in Albanian, they aren’t. Thus, Dative Case is used with the verb “them” in
both of the following kinds of sentences:]
Po ‘bankës’, si i thoni në anglisht? (And ‘desk’, how do you say that in English?)
S’ka problem, do t’i them unë Sandrës që do të punojmë nesër. (No problem, I’ll tell Sandra that we are
going to work tomorrow.)

Up till now, we’ve looked at verbs that generally take either Accusative Case or Dative Case, but not
both. The reality is, however, that most verbs in Albanian can actually take both a direct and an indirect
object. Some verbs which, in English, we would assume have only a direct object also take an indirect
object in Albanian. This is because many verbs, when they act upon a body part or possession, take the
owner of that body part/possession as their indirect object. (See the section on Cases and the section on
the use of Possessive Pronouns for more information on this use of the Dative Case.) Some verbs that
often take both direct and indirect objects are: jap (to give), dërgoj (to send), sjell (to bring), bëj (to do),
kontrolloj (to check), festoj (to celebrate) and fus (to put in). However, there are many more.

Ajo m’i dha dy lule. (She gave me two flowers.)
Ata na dërguan një mesazh. (They sent us a message.)
Do të ta sjell dosjen nesër. (I will bring you the dossier tomorrow.)
Mund të të bëj një pyetje? (Can I ask you a question?)
Kush ma mori lapsin? (Who took the pencil from me?)
Do të na mësosh anglishten? (Are you going to teach us English?)
Pse s’më hape telefonin? (Why didn’t you answer the phone when I called?)


Dative Case

The Dative Case performs an important function in Albanian that, in English, we usually show by using
possessive pronouns. In English, when someone does something to a part of someone’s body, or to
someone’s possession, we usually show the indirect object through the use of dependent possessive
pronouns. (For example, She held his hand.).

In Albanian, the part of the body, the possession, etc. is the direct object of the action, and the person to
whom it “belongs” is the indirect object. Here are some examples:

Leka i lëmoi flokët Marës. (Leka smoothed Mara’s hair.)
Ai na vodhi paratë. (He stole our money. OR He stole the money from us.)
Besnikut i kapa xhaketën. (I grabbed Besnik’s jacket. OR I grabbed Beznik by the jacket.)
Bertit i ra cigarja nga dora. (The cigarette fell from Berti’s hand.)
Andi ia shtrëngoi dorën asaj. (Andi held/clutched her hand.)

See the section on Possessive Pronouns in Chapter 5 for more information on the use of Possessive
Pronouns versus the Dative Case.

In fact, the Possessive Pronouns (both Dependent and Independent) are not used as often in Albanian as
they are in English. The Independent Possessive Pronouns are hardly ever used in everyday speech. For
example, in Albanian, the parts of the body are not usually spoken of as if they belonged to someone, as
they are in English (his arm, her hair, my foot, your face, etc.). This is because, in Albanian, the Dative
Case replaces the use of the Possessive Pronouns in many cases (including situations dealing with body
parts). (see the section on Cases in Chapter 3 for more information on this use of the Dative Case.)
Since the Dative Case (the case taken by indirect objects) shows who or what something happens to, it
frequently tells us the information that is expressed, in English, by the Possessive Pronouns. Let’s look at
some examples:

Igli i kapi dorën asaj. (Igli grabbed/caught her hand. OR, LITERALLY Igli grabbed the hand to her.)
Më dhemb fyti. (My throat hurts. OR, LITERALLY The throat hurts to me.)
Ai më mori lapsin. (He took my pencil. OR He took the pencil from me.)
Ata na dogjën shtëpinë. (They burned our house. OR, LITERALLY They burned the house to us.)
I është vrarë këmba atij. (His foot/leg is broken/hurt. OR, LITERALLY The foot/leg is broken/hurt to

As can be seen, the Dative Case replaces many instances of the use of Possessive Pronouns. The Dative
Case can’t replace uses of the Independent Possessive Pronouns (since the Independent Possessive
Pronouns dispense with the actual object (the hand, the throat, the pencil, the house, the leg, etc.).
However, they just aren’t used very often in Albanian.