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Case after “mit” oder “ohne”

mit is a preposition that is followed by Dative,  ohne is followed by Accusative.
So far, so … uh… good.

But what happens if they’re actually joined directly because they refer to the same entity.

  • I’ll watch that romantic comedy tonight, with or without you.

Which case do we need here? The one of mit, or the one of ohne?

The answer is, that in combinations like this, the second preposition wins and gets pick the case.

  • mit oder ohne dich (Accusative)
  • ohne oder mit dir (Dative)

We should note, though, that this only works well for combinations that are common.

  • I’m talking with and about him.
  • Ich rede mit und über ihn.

This sounds a tiny bit strange in German, and people might take a second to process what you’re saying. But I think it’s a bit weird in English as well, so here it might be better to double down on the pronoun.

  • Ich rede mit ihm und über ihn.
  • I talk with him and about him.