Sentences What does it mean to bite your feet

Did the dog bite me or my foot?

A regularly asked question is whether you can get someoneen or someoneem pulling the hair, patting the shoulder, stabbing the hand, stepping on the foot, biting the calf, etc.


I would be interested in whether you say: “The dog bit me in the foot” or “The dog bit me in the foot”?


Good afternoon L.,

both formulations are correct:

The dog is biting my foot.
The dog is biting my foot.

In constructions with a verb that expresses a touch in a broader sense, and a body part that indicates the place of contact as an adverbial definition, both the dative and the accusative can often be used. For example:

He pulled my / me hair.
The wasp stung him / her in the hand.
He patted his / her friend on the shoulder.
Did you cut your finger?
She kicked her / her shin.

If you use the accusative, is me the accusative object to bite. If you use the dative case, is me a dative, which indicates to whose "disadvantage" the biting in the foot happens resp. whose foot is being bitten. It's a dative like the one used when having a son his father scratches the car, the cat her mistress scratched the sofa or a girl the little brother secretly pours salt into the syrup.

As so often, I have to warn against seeing this as a strict rule. For example, express the verbs kiss and stroke a touch, the target of which can be a part of the body. Nevertheless, almost only the accusative or the dative case is used for them:

She kissed his cheek.
She stroked his cheek.

As the weather allows it again, I'll have another glass in the open air - and be careful not to stab a wasp in the mouth.

With best regards

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, GrammarTags Declination, Verbergänzung