We use the dative case in order to -
1) indicate were things are positioned when they are not moving.
2) to point out the indirect object in a sentence.
e.g. if I buy a present for my mother, then the present is the direct object of the verb to buy. (accusative) my mother is the indirect object, (dative)
Certain verbs take the dative at all times, especially those which indicate something is been done for or on behalf of someone, rather than to them.
e.g. i am buying my father a tie. - ich kaufe meinem vater einen schlips.
Prepositions which govern the Dative
Aus - out of/from
bei - by/at the home of
mit - with
nach - after/to
seit - since
von - from/of
zu - to
Some prepositions and articles condense
in dem = im
zu dem = zum
dative articles - definate
dem(m) der (f) dem(n) den(p)
einem(m) einer(f) einem(n) NO PLURAL