The dative case (abbreviated dat, or sometimes d when it is a core argument) is a grammatical case used in some languages to indicate, among other uses, the noun to which something is given, as in Maria Jacobo potum dedit, Latin for "Maria gave Jacob a drink".
In such examples, the dative marks theindirect object of a verb, although in some instances, the dative is used for the direct object of a verb pertaining directly to an act of giving something. This may be a tangible object (e.g. "a book" or "a tapestry"), or an intangible abstraction (e.g. "an answer" or "help").
Sometimes the dative has functions unrelated to giving. In Scottish Gaelicand Irish, the term dative case is used in traditional grammars to refer to theprepositional case-marking of nouns following simple prepositions and the definite article. In Georgian, the dative case also marks the subject of the sentence with some verbs and some tenses. This is called the dative construction.
The dative was common among earlyIndo-European languages and has survived to the present in the Balto-Slavic branch and the Germanic branch, among others. It also exists in similar forms in several non-Indo-European languages, such as the Uralic family of languages. In some languages, the dative case has assimilated the functions of other, now extinct cases. InAncient Greek, the dative has the functions of the Proto-Indo-Europeanlocative and instrumental as well as those of the original dative.