The accusative case denotes the direct object or the object of an accusative or two-way preposition. The direct object is the noun that receives the action of the (transitive) verb. For example, in the sentence, “the boy kicked the ball,” the ball is the noun that is being kicked, thus it receives the action of the verb (to kick). This particular verb is transitive, which means simply that its action “transfers” to a direct object. There are also intransitive verbs, which have no direct object — for example, “The couple drives to Berlin.” In this sentence, Berlin cannot “be driven,” though one can drive to the city (“to the city” = preposition phrase, which has an object of the preposition that is not equal to the direct object). In this way, “to drive” is an intransitive verb, because its action does not transfer to the city of Berlin itself — in the latter case, it would entail Berlin becoming a means of transportation to be used by the couple.
The accusative case also has 5 commonly-used prepositions that only take the accusative: durch, für, gegen, ohne, and um. These prepositions typically are followed by an article before their object (e.g. durch den Park, gegen den Baum), but sometimes an article is not necessary, as in the case of personal pronouns (e.g. ohne dich, für ihn). There are also 9 two-way prepositions that can take either the accusative or dative case, which will be covered in greater detail under the “Prepositions” module.