German prepositions:
space & direction
(räumliche Präpositionen)

out, from
out of
by, with
up to
next to
in front of
with articles
always: ab + Dativ
 ab [ap] = from

As a preposition of place or space is used rarely and mainly in transport and finance.

German preposition ab requires the use of its object in the Dative case.


speaker Wir fliegen ab allen Schweizer Flughäfen. = We are flying from all the Swiss airports.

speaker Ab welchen Flughäfen fliegen Sie normalerweise? = From which airports do you usually fly?

speaker Ab dem fünften Stockwerk gibt es einen schönen Ausblick. = There is a nice view from the 5th floor.

speaker Ist es weit ab dieser Straße? = Is it far from this street?

speaker Sie meinen ab diesem Gebäude? = You mean from this building?

action within the same space: an + Dativ
 an [an] = at, on

Preposition of place an is mostly used where English speakers use preposition at or sometimes on, like: at/on the wall, at/on the board.

Preposition an is used to describe that something is very close and is in touching proximity.

Very often am is used as a short version of an dem.

Preposition an is also used in the wo- or da- compounds to create woran? = on what? and daran = on it/them and can apply to anything that does not breath.
Compound daran is sometimes being shortened to dran.


speaker Sein Hund sitzt an der Wand. = His dog is sitting at/by the wall. (the dog is touching the wall)

speaker Ich und mein Nachbar wohnen Tür an Tür. = I and my male-neighbour live door to door (next to each other).

speaker Luke und Hanna sind am Meer. = Luke and Hanna are at the sea.

speaker Wohnen Sie am See? = Do You live at/by the lake?

speaker Sind wir schon an der Grenze? = Are we already at the border?

speaker Wir wohnen am Fluss. = We live on/by the river.

speaker Arbeitet Peter an der Schule? = Does Peter work at the school?

speaker Können Sie am Bahnhof bleiben? = Can You remain at the railway station?

speaker Wer ist am Telefon? = Who is at/on the phone?

speaker Sie sitzt am Tisch. = She is sitting at the table.

speaker Ich sitze am Computer. = I am sitting at/by the computer.

speaker Ist jemand an der Tür? = Is anyone at the door?

speaker Wer lebt an der Hauptstraße? = Who lives at/on the main/high street?

speaker Das Bild ist nicht mehr an der Wand. = The picture is no longer at the wall.

speaker Die Leiter ist an der Wand. = The leader is at/on the wall.

speaker Wo bist du? Ich bin an der Haltestelle. = Where are you? I am at/on the petrol station.

speaker Wo stehst du? An der Ampel. = Where are you standing? At the traffic light.

speaker Warum ist dein Foto an der Scheibe? = Why is your photo at the window glass?

speaker Wo bist du? Am Strand. = Where are you? On the beach.

change of places: an + Akkusativ
 an [an] = at, on

German preposition of place an requires the use of Akkusativ case when we describe movement from one place, space, environment or state to another, or in other words we are trying to answer the questions Woher?=Where from? or Wohin? = Where to?

When used with Accusative case, very often an das is shortened to ans.

Preposition an is also used in the wo- or da- compounds to create woran? = to what? and daran = to it/them and can apply to anything that does not breath.
Compound daran is sometimes being shortened to dran.


speaker Wohin gehst du? Ich gehe an die Haltestelle. = Where are you going to? I am going to/at the bus stop.

speaker Hast du das Bild schon an die Wand gehängt? = Have you already hung the picture at the wall?

speaker Wir fahren ans Meer. = We are driving to the sea.

speaker Wir gehen an den See. = We are going to the lake.

speaker Ich lehne die Leiter an die Wand. = I am putting the leader to/at the wall.

speaker Wo ist unser Besen? Ich habe ihn draußen an die Wand gestellt. = Where is our broom? I have leaned/put it at the wall outside.

speaker Kannst du die Lampe an die Decke hängen? = Can you hung the bulb/lamp at/on the ceiling?

speaker Ich setze mich an den Computer. = I am sitting down at the computer.

speaker Woran hat sie sich gesetzt? = At/Onto what has she sit down?

speaker Woran haben Sie sich gelehnt? = Onto what have You leaned?

speaker Woran hast du das Bild aufgehängt? = At what have you hung the picture?

speaker Woran gehst du? An die Tür. = What are you going to/at? To the door.

speaker Ich habe es daran gehängt. = I have hung it on/at it.

speaker Woran hast du den Besen gelegt? = On/At what have you put the broom?

speaker Ich habe den Besen daran gestellt. = I have put the broom at it.

speaker Wohin fährst du? An See. = To/At what are you driving? To/At the lake.

speaker Wohin gehst du? An den Fluß/Fluss. = Where are you going to? To/At the river.

speaker Wohin fliegst du? An die Küste. = Where are you flying to? To/At the coast.

change of places: auf + Akkusativ
 auf ['auf] = onto

German preposition of place auf, when we're describing movement from one place, space, environment to another, has the same meaning as English onto, like: onto the table, onto the floor. And because object is changing its place or space, we have to use this object in the Accusative case.

Preposition auf is also used in the wo- or da- compounds to create worauf? = onto what? and darauf = onto it/them and can apply to anything that does not breath.
Compound darauf is sometimes being shortened to drauf.


speaker Ich springe auf das Bett. = I am jumping onto the bed. (movement between different places, therefore we use Accusative)

speaker Willst du auf den Mars fliegen? = Do you want to fly onto the Mars?

speaker Aber ich will auf die Venus. = But I want onto the Venus.

speaker Er erhob sich auf den Tisch. = He raised (himself) onto the table.

speaker Wohin gehst du? Auf die Insel. = Where are you going to? Onto the island.

speaker Mein Vater klettert auf den Esel. = My father is climbing onto the donkey.

speaker Sie kommt auf die Werkbank. = It comes back onto the workbench.

speaker Worauf soll ich mich setzen? = On what do I have to sit down?

speaker Er war aber mit der Nase darauf gestoßen. = He was, however, pushed with his nose onto it. (he was pushed and smashed his nose onto something)

speaker Da war eine Bank. Und ich setzte mich darauf. = There was a bench. And I set down on it.

action within the same space: auf + Dativ
 auf ['auf] = on

German preposition of place auf, when used with Dative, has the same meaning as English on, like: on the table, on the floor...

In some indirect meanings auf can also mean at, like: at work, at the meeting...

Preposition auf is also used in the wo- or da- compounds to create worauf? = on what? and darauf = on it/them and can apply to anything that does not breath.
Compound darauf is sometimes being shortened to drauf.


speaker Ich springe auf dem Bett. = I am jumping on the bed. (here we have movement, but don't have the change of places and therefore we use Dative)

speaker Auf verbotenen Wegen. = On the forbidden paths/ways. [A Landor]

speaker Seine Hände lagen auf dem Tisch. = His hands are (laying) on the table.

speaker Sie sitzt auf dem Pferd. = She is sitting on the horse.

speaker Bist du auf dem Mond oder was? = Are you on the Moon or what?

speaker Ich weiß, dass sie auf einer Insel wohnen. = I know, that they live on an island.

speaker Sie möchte auf ihrem Zimmer bleiben. = She wanted to remain in her room. (auf is very rarely used as: in)

speaker Sie arbeitet auf dem Bau. = She works at the building site.

speaker Mein Sohn ist noch auf der Schule. = My son is still at school. (means that he is still studying)

speaker Worauf stehst du? Darauf. = What are you standing on? On it. (On that one.)

speaker Worauf liegt deine Tasche? = On what is (laying) your bag?

speaker Worauf stand er? = What was he standing on?

speaker Stand er wirklich darauf? = Was he really standing on it?

speaker Ja, ich habe darauf gesessen? = Yes, I was sitting on it.

speaker An der Seite befindet sich ein Zaubertisch, worauf ein kleiner Zauberer steht. = On the side finds itself a magician table, on which stands a little magician/wizard. [F Raimund: Die unheilbringende Krone]

always: aus + Dativ
 aus ['aus] = out of, off, from

Preposition of place aus describes movement out of something or somewhere and also belongs to prepositions of direction, in German Richtungspräpositionen.

Even though the preposition aus describes movement, it always needs its object to be in Dative case.

Preposition aus is also used in the wo- or da- compounds and create woraus? = out of what? and daraus = out of it/them and can apply to anything that is not alive.
Compound daraus is sometimes being shortened to draus.


speaker Bitte nehmen Sie Ihren Ausweis aus Ihrer Tasche. = Please take Your passport out of Your bag.

speaker Kommst du aus der Schule? = Are you coming from the school? (here school as a building, not as an institution

speaker Kannst du den Käse aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen? = Can you take the cheese out of the fridge?

speaker Ich nehme meine Socken aus der Schublade. = I am taking my socks out of the drawer.

speaker Er nahm das Geld aus seinem Portemonnaie. = He took the money out of his wallet.

speaker Ich kann direkt aus der Flasche trinken. = I can drink directly out of the bottle.

speaker Aber ich trinke aus dem Glas. = But I am drinking out of the glass.

speaker Kommt sie aus dem Supermarkt? = Is she coming from the supermarket?

speaker Kommst du aus Tirol? = Are you coming from Tirol?

speaker Nein, sie kommt aus der Schweiz. = No, she is coming from Switzerland.

speaker Sind Sie aus Japan? = Are you from Japan?

speaker Aber sie kommt aus den USA. = But she comes from the USA.

speaker Aus welchem Material ist das? = Out of which material is that?

speaker Ist dein Ring aus Gold? = Is your ring from gold?

speaker Ihre Halskette ist aus Silber. = Her necklace is from silver.

speaker Ihre Tassen sind aus Keramik. = Her cups are from ceramic.

speaker Dieser Tisch ist aus Holz. = This table is from wood.

speaker Dieses Buch besteht aus zwei Teilen. = This book consists from/of two parts.

speaker Mein Auto besteht aus Tausenden von Teilen. = My car consists from thousands of parts.

speaker Dieser Satz besteht aus fünf Wörtern. = This sentence consists from/of five words.

außer + Dativ (rarely Genitiv)
 außer ['aʊ̯sɐ] = out of, outside

As a preposition of space außer is used when we are describing that something or someone is out of, or outside of something or someone.

Außer is also often written as ausser, particularly in Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

Another preposition that can be used instead of außer, in the same meaning, is außerhalb = out of, outside.


speaker Ich bin außer dem Haus. = I am out of (outside) the house.

speaker Die Menschen gingen außer Landes. = The people went out of the country. (here das Land is in Genitiv case)

speaker Wir wohnten außer Schottland. = We lived outside Scotland.

speaker Sie ist außer Sicht. = She is out of the view. (She cannot be seen.)

speaker Ich bin außer der Stadt. = I am out of the town.

speaker Er war außer Atem. = He was out of breath.

speaker Ich bin außer mir. = I was out of myself.

speaker Ich war für Wut außer mir. = I was out of/beside myself with/from anger. [J M R Lenz: Elfter Brief]

always: bei + Dativ
 bei ['baɪ̯] = by, at, with

Preposition of place bei describes that someone or something finds itself by or very near something or someone, In other words, it answers the question Wo? = Where?.

Preposition bei is the Dative preposition and requires that its object is always in Dative case.

For this reason bei dem is very often shortened to beim.

Preposition bei is also used in the wo- or da- compounds to create wobei? = by what? and dabei = by it/them and can apply to anything that doesn't breath.


speaker Ich stehe beim(bei dem) Haus. = I am standing by the house.

speaker Der Bank ist bei der Kirche. = The bank is by the church.

speaker Ich habe es nicht bei mir. = I don't have it with me.

speaker Habt ihr Geld bei euch? = Do you have money with you?

speaker Ich stehe bei der Schule. = I am standing by the school.

speaker Beim Haus stehen zwei Eichen. = Two oaks are standing by the house.

speaker Ich bin zu Hause. Kommst du vorbei? = I am at home. Will you come by? (Will you pop up?)

speaker Der Buchladen ist beim Bahnhof. = The book shop is by the railway station.

speaker Der Posten steht nah beim Haus. =

speaker Ein Landhaus bei New York. = A country house by New York. [F Kafka]

speaker Aby wohnt bei uns. = Any lives with us. (in our place)

speaker Ich sitze immer bei geschlossenen Fenstern. = I always sit by the closed windows. [E Lasker-Schüler: Wenn mein Herz gesund wär]

speaker Der Mann stand bei meinem Koffer. = The man was standing by my suitcase.

speaker Welcher Baum wächst bei eurem Haus? = Which tree is growing by your house?

always: bis + Akkusativ
 bis ['bɪs̯] = to, up to

The German preposition of place or space bis is used mostly with the preposition zu, to construct bis zu + Dative, where in English we use to or up to, like: I am going (only) to that corner (and no further). = Ich gehe bis zu der Ecke.

When bis zu is used with feminine gender, it is often shortened to bis zur.

When bis zu is used with masculine or neuter genders, it is often shortened to bis zum.


speaker Wir sind bis zum Wald gelaufen. = We walked up to the forest.

speaker Von Haparanda bis San Francisco. = From Haparanda to Francisco. [Ernst Wasserzieher]

speaker Er empfahl sich und ging, von Albert bis zur Treppe begleitet. = He said good bye and went, up to the stairs accompanied by Albert. [H Hesse: Roßhalde]

speaker Wir schwimmen bis zur Treppe da unten und wieder zurück. = We are swimming down to the stairs and back again. [H Hesse: Roßhalde]

speaker Veraguth begleitete ihn bis zum Wagen. = Veraguth accompanied him (up) to the vehicle. [H Hesse: Roßhalde]

speaker Ich bin mit ihnen bis zur Grenze gefahren. = I have driven with them up to the border.

speaker Tut das Kind allein seine ersten Schritte und geht etwa bis zu einem Stuhl. = The child does its first steps alone and walks almost (up) to a chair. [J Siebe: Die Welt im Kinderköpfchen]

speaker Schönes heiteres Wetter und ruhige See begleiteten uns bis Alexandria. = Beautiful clear weather and calm see/lake accompanied us to Alexandria. [Frieda von Bülow: Reisescizzen und Tagebuchblätter aus Deutsch-Ostafrika]

speaker Vom Verona bis Venedig. = From Verona to Venice.

speaker Vom Leipzig bis Frankfurt. = From Leipzig to Frankfurt.

speaker Vom Paris bis Berlin. = From Paris till/to Berlin.

always: durch + Akkusativ
 durch ['dʊʁç] = through

The preposition durch is used to describe movement through something, like through the woods, through the city, through the windows,...


speaker Der Zug fährt durch den Tunnel. = The train is going/driving through the tunnel.

speaker Wir müssen durch den Wald gehen. = We must/have to go through the forest.

speaker Durch dieses Fenster können die Bienen nicht fliegen. = Bees cannot fly through this window.

speaker Später sind sie durch die Stadt gegangen. = Later they went through the city/town.

speaker Ich schicke diesen Stift durch die Post. = I am sending this pen through the post.

speaker Durch solchen Nebel konnten wir nicht fahren. = We could not drive through such fog.

speaker Eine Wettfahrt durch Asien und Europa in sechzig Tagen. = A race through Asia and Europe in 60 days. [Luigi Barzini: Peking-Paris im Automobil]

speaker Wir wollen durch Zürich fahren. = We want to drive/go through Zürich.

speaker Sind Sie schon einmal durch Baden-Württemberg gefahren? = Have you once gone/driven through Baden-Württemberg?

speaker Ja, wir sind durch Schwarzwald gefahren. = Yes, we were driving through the Black Forest.

speaker Und dann sind wir durch Hessen gefahren. = And then we were driving/going through Hesse.

speaker Sind sie durch die Tür gegangen? = Did they go through the door?

speaker Sie sind durch das Loch gegangen. = They went through this hole.

speaker Was hast du da durch das Loch gesehen? = What did you see there through the hole?

Akkusativ + entlang
entlang + Dativ or Genitiv
 entlang [ɛnt'laŋ] = along, parallel to

Preposition entlang describes movement along, down or parallel to someone or something, and can be used either before its subject, or after it.

If entlang is used after its subject, than that subject has to be in the Akkusativ case (see examples).

If entlang is used before its subject, than that subject has to be in the Dativ or Genitiv, mainly depending upon the geographical region.

Genitiv case is used mostly in the south Germany and Austria. In other areas most people use Dativ.

Instead of entlang we can also use construct längs + Genitiv/Dativ, i.e.:
Ich gehe längs des Zauns. = I am walking along the fence., Wir fahren längs des Flusses. = We are driving along the river.


speaker Akkusativ:

speaker den Fluss entlang = along the river

speaker Sie werden den Wald entlang fahren müssen. = You will have to drive along the forest.

speaker Und dann sind wir den Zug entlang gelaufen. = And then we were walking along the train.

speaker Ein Bach geht zwischen den Häusern entlang. = A stream runs along between the houses. (no subject for entlang) [Ernst von Wildenbruch: Neid]

speaker Das Boot fuhr die Küste entlang. = The boat was driving along the coast.

speaker Langsam ging ich den Weg entlang. = I was slowly walking along/down the path. [Hermann Löns: Das Tal der Lieder]

speaker Sie ging sehr schnell, den Strand entlang. = She was going along the beach very fast.

speaker So schallt sein Lied das Tal entlang. = So echoes his song along/down the valley. [E Schulze: Auf dem Hübichenstein]

speaker Wir fahren der Küste entlang. = We are driving along the coast. [Kurt Tucholsky: Zwei Klöster]

speaker Sie gingen die Schmalseite des Hauses entlang. = They were going along the narrow side of the house. [A Schnitzler: Casanovas Heimfahrt]

speaker Dativ/Genitiv:

speaker entlang des Flusses = along the river

speaker Sie gingen entlang des Flusses. = They were going along/down the river.

speaker Entlang dem Tal verläuft die Grenze. = Down/Along the valley runs the border. (The border runs along the valley.)

speaker Der Mauer ist entlang dem Strand gebaut. = The wall has been built along the beach.

speaker Entlang der Straße versammelten sich die Menschen. = Along the street gathered people.

speaker Entlang den Tischen saßen die Gäste. = The guests were sitting along the tables.

speaker Die Katze lief entlang dem Dach. = The cat was walking along the roof.

speaker Dann erhob er sich rasch und eilte entlang der Mauer. = Then he quickly rose and rushed along the wall. [A Schnitzler: Casanovas Heimfahrt]

speaker Die Frauen sitzen an einer Seite entlang des Tisches. = The women are sitting on one side along the table.

speaker Dann wanderte er am Strande entlang des Meeres. = Then he was wandering on the beach along the sea. [A von Löwis of Menar: Finnische Märchen]

change of location: gegen + Akkusativ; entgegen + Dativ
 gegen ['ɡeɡən] = against

German preposition gegen describes movement of something against someone or something.

Together with gegen German speakers also use entgegen + Dativ = towards/against in the same meaning. Preposition entgegen requires its object to be put into the Dative case. It needs to be noted that entgegen is more often used after its object, e.g.:
    mir entgegen = against/towards me;
    der Wand entgegen = against/towards the wall;
    dem Wind entgegen = against/towards the wind;
    dem Stuhl entgegen = against/towards the stool.


speaker Fräulein mit dem Kopf gegen die Wand gestützt. = Young lady beats her head against the wall. [C Hawarden]

speaker Ein Auto ist gegen den Zaun gefahren. = A car has driven against/into the fence.

speaker Er hat die Leiter gegen die Wand gelehnt. = He leaned the ladder against the wall.

speaker Jemand klopfte an/gegen die Tür. = Someone knocked on/against the door.

speaker Ich lehnte mich gegen einen Baum. Die Knie zitterten mir. = I leaned against a tree. My knees were trembling. [Eduard von Keyserling: Schwüle Tage]

speaker Er machte einen Schneeball und warf ihn gegen ein Fenster. = He made a snowball and threw it against/into a window. [F Kafka: Das Schloß]

speaker Wer gegen die Sonne spuckt, dem fällt der Speichel ins Gesicht. = Who against the sun spits, his saliva will fall down his face.

speaker Kim bewegte sich gegen den Wind. = Kim was moving against the wind.

speaker Das Boot segelt gegen den Strom. = The boat sails against the current.

speaker Regen klatscht gegen die Fenster. = Rain knocks/claps/splashes against the window.

speaker Sieh mal, er fährt gegen den Verkehr. = Look, he drives/goes against the (direction of the) traffic.

speaker Die Wellen brechen sich gegen den Wind. = The waves break against the wind.

speaker Kahle Eichen gegen die Sonne. = Bare oaks against the sun. [Е Bracht]

speaker Er ging mir entgegen. = He was going towards me.

speaker Kühle Luft weht mir entgegen. = Cool air is blowing towards me. [E Hennings: Die letzte Freude]

speaker Maria kam über den Weg ihr entgegen. = Maria came across the path towards/against her. [A Schwabe: Die Hochzeit]

speaker Und die kahlen Äste starrten dem Feuer entgegen. = And the bare branches stared towards the fire. [P Keller: Die Heimat]

speaker Ihnen trat Heinrich entgegen. = Heinrich stepped towards them. [P Keller: Die Heimat]

speaker Da trat ihm einer entgegen. = There someone went/stepped towards him. [P Keller: Die Heimat]

speaker Ich gehe der Sonne entgegen. = I am going against/towards the sun.

action withing the same location: Dativ + gegenüber
 gegenüber [ɡeːɡŋ'ʔyːbɐ] = opposite

The preposition of place/space gegenüber indicates that the described action is happening opposite its object (something or someone).

Note that gegenüber is very often put after its object, e.g.:
   Ich stehe dir gegenüber. = I'm standing opposite you.

Nevertheless, if you decide to put gegenüber before its object, than, before the object, you have to use also the preposition von, e.g:
   Ich stehe gegenüber von dir. (see examples below)


speaker Er steht ihr gegenüber. = He is standing opposite her.

speaker Mir gegenüber sitzt nun das Kind. Müßig am Fenster, daß jeder sie schaut. = Now opposite me is sitting the child. Non moving in the window so that everyone looks at her. [Achim von Arnim: Die arme Schönheit]

speaker Ich saß ihm gegenüber. = I was sitting opposite him.

speaker Wohnst du gegenüber von der Bank? = Do you live opposite the bank?

speaker Wohnst du der Bank gegenüber? = Do you live opposite the bank?

speaker Die Damen saßen den Herren gegenüber. = The ladies were sitting opposite the gentlemen.

speaker Dem Schloß gegenüber, hinter mir versteckt, liegt die Kirche. = Opposite the castle, hidden behind me, is the church.

speaker Was liegt dir gegenüber? = What is (located) opposite you?

speaker Ist sie noch gegenüber von dir? = Is she still opposite you?

speaker Meine Schlafkammer war ihm gerade gegenüber. = My bedchamber was right opposite him. [J H W Tischbein: Erste Reise nach Italien]

speaker Mein Schlafzimmer war seinem gegenüber. = My bedroom/bedchamber was opposite his.

speaker Ich setzte ihr, mir gegenüber, einen Stuhl. = The stool for her I put opposite me. [M August von Thümmel: Avignon]

speaker Es ist vielleicht die Göttin der Schönheit, und er steht ihr Angesicht zu Angesicht gegenüber. = That is probably the Goddess of the beauty. And he is standing face to face opposite her. [H Heine: Elementargeister]

speaker Weil sie mir gegenüber steht. = Because she is standing opposite me.

always: gen + Akkusativ
 gen [ɡɛn] = towards; to; in the direction of

German preposition gen is used to describe that someone or something is moving in some direction, e.g.: into the sky, to the East, towards Dublin, etc.

Gen is a synonym to the preposition gegen.


speaker Er reist gen Westen. = He is travelling East.

speaker Ihr Blick ging gen Norden. = She was looking towards North. [duden]

speaker Der Tag neigt sich gen Abend. = The day is drawing towards evening.

speaker Wir richten unseren Blick gen Himmel. = We are directing our look/gaze towards sky.

speaker Sie ist auf dem Weg gen Berlin. = She is moving towards/in the direction of Berlin.

speaker Sie blickten gen Stuttgart. = They were looking towards Stuttgart.

hinter + Akkusativ; hinter + Dativ
 hinter ['hɪntɐ] = behind, after

The preposition hinter indicates that something or someone is either moving or is located behind or after someone or something.

If hinter indicates that someone or something is moving AND changing its location to behind its object, than that object has to be in the Akkusative case.

If hinter indicates that someone or something is either moving or located WITHIN THE SAME LOCATION behind its object, than that object has to be in the Dative case.

Most important here is not the movement itself, but the movement that results in the change of location. Here are two sentences that describe movement, but the first indicates the change of location, and the second is not:
  He is jumping (from somewhere else to) behind me., He is jumping (all the time) behind me.
To better understand, analyse the examples below as they show the usage of hinter in both cases.

Hinter is also used in the constructs with wo- and da- compounds, by creating:
wohinter...? = behind what?, and
dahinter = behind it/that.
Note that these both compounds apply only to anything that doesn't breath (non-living objects).

Examples - change of location:

speaker Ich renne hinter das Haus. = I am running (to) behind the house.

speaker Sie bewegt sich hinter mich. = She moves (to) behind me. (from somewhere)

speaker Dein Bleistift ist hinter den Tisch gefallen. = You pencil has fallen (to) behind the table.

speaker Sie setzte sich hinter mich. = She sat down behind me.

speaker Wir krochen hinter die Bäume. = We crawled (to) behind the trees.

speaker Setzen Sie ein Komma hinter dieses Wort. = Put a comma behind this word.

speaker Wir fahren hinter die Stadt. = We are driving/going (to) behind the city/town.

speaker Sabine geht hinter die Kulissen. = Sabine goes/walks (to) behind the scenes/curtains.

speaker Diesen Sack stelle ich hinter die Türe. = I'm putting this bag/sack (to) behind the door. [Der Wahrsager, 81]

speaker Es steckt etwas dahinter. = He is hiding something (to) behind it.

speaker Wohinter versteckst du dich? = (To) Behind what are you hiding yourself?

speaker Ich verstecke mich dahinter. = I am hiding (myself) (to) behind it.

speaker Wohinter wirst du rennen? = (To) Behind what do you want to run?

speaker Ich werde dahinter rennen. = I will run (to) behind it.

Examples - NO change of location:

speaker Ich weiß nicht worüber hinter den Kulissen geht? = I don't know what is going on/happening behind the scenes/curtains.

speaker Ich renne hinter dem Haus. = I'm running behind the house.

speaker Sie bewegt sich hinter mir. = She is moving behind me.

speaker Dein Bleistift ist hinter dem Tisch. = You pencil is behind the table.

speaker Sie stehen hinter meinem Haus. = They are standing behind my house.

speaker Sie saß hinter mir. = She was sitting behind me.

speaker Sein Sohn stand hinter seinem Rücken. = His son was standing behind his back.

speaker Wir krochen hinter den Bäumen. = We were crawling behind the trees. (we were all the time behind the trees)

speaker Sie wohnt in einem Wald hinter Herrischried, bei Todtmoos, in BW. = She lives in a forest behind Herrischried, nearby Todtmoss, in BW (Baden-Würtemberg).

speaker Das habe ich hinter Ihrem Zaun gefunden. = I found this behind your fence.

speaker Die Sonne hat sich hinter den Wolken versteckt. = The sun has hidden (itself) behind the clouds.

speaker Sie fährt im Auto hinter meinem Auto. = She is driving in a car behind my car.

speaker Waldshut liegt schon hinter uns. = Waldshut is already behind us.

speaker Bleib hinter mir. = Stay behind me.

speaker Du siehst, wohinter er sich verschanzt. = You see, behind what he has hidden (himself). [J M R Lenz]

speaker Wohinter sich die Launen ziehen. = Behind which the moods are drawn. [L F Günther von Goeckingk]

speaker Wohinter haben Sie sich versteckt? = What have You hidden (yourself) behind?

speaker Dahinter ist nichts. = Nothing is behind it.

speaker Den Hintergrund schließt der Zaun, dahinter eine schmale Landstraße. = The fence closes/hides the background, behind it is a narrow country road. [Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Das Bergwerk zu Falun]

location changes: in + Akkusativ
location not changing: in + Dative
 in [ɪn] = into, in, inside, within

German preposition of space in may indicate that someone or something is changing its location from somewhere else into or inside the object that this preposition points to,
may indicate that someone or something is or is performing an action in or inside the object that this preposition points to.

When we describe that someone or something is changing its location from somewhere else into the object, than the preposition in requires us to use that object in the Accusative case, e.g.:
   Ich renne in das Haus. = I am running into the house.

When we describe that the action is being performed in or within the same location, than the preposition in requires us to use its object in the Dative case, e.g.:
   Ich renne in dem Haus. = I am running in/inside the house.

German preposition in is used to describe movement into the countries, but ONLY into those whose names are used with definite articles, e.g.:
   Ich fahre in die Schweiz. = I'm driving to/into Switzerland.

If we want to describe movement into the countries without articles, than we better use the preposition nach because for example Ich fahre in Deutschland. will mean I am driving in/inside Germany., and not into Germany. (See examples below.)

The full list of countries with articles is in the bottom of this page.

German preposition in is also used to create wo- and da- compounds, i.e.:
  worin? = into/in/inside what?, and
darin/drin/drinen = into/in/inside it/that.
These both compounds apply only to anything that doesn't breath (non-living objects).

In Accusative case in + das is often shortened to ins (ins Haus).

In Dative case in + dem is often shortened to im (im Haus).

Examples - change of location:

speaker Ich reise in die Niederlande. = I'm travelling/going/driving into the Netherlands.

speaker Ich fahre in das Vereinigte Königreich. = I'm driving into the United Kingdom.

speaker Wohin gehst du? In die Schweiz. = Where are you going to? Into/To Switzerland.

speaker Wann fliegen Sie in die USA? = When are You flying to the USA?

speaker Wir gehen ins Kino. Bist du dabei? = We are going to the cinema. Are you in? (going with us)

speaker Jana ist ins Park gegangen. = Jana went into the park.

speaker Warum bist du in den Wald gefahren? = Why were you driving into the forest?

speaker Ich muss in die Stadt. = I have to go into the town/city.

speaker Morgen fliegt er in den Westen. = Tomorrow he is flying West.

speaker Tom ging in den Flughafen. = Tom went into the airport.

speaker Ist Lisa schon ins Cafe gegangen? Woher soll ich das wissen? = Has Lisa already gone to the cafe? How am I supposed to know that?

speaker Mein Handy ist ins Wasser gefallen. = My mobile has fallen into the water.

speaker Fahren Sie in dieselbe Richtung? = Are you driving/going in the same direction?

speaker Er geht ins Bad. = He goes into the bath.

speaker Sie springt in die Kiste. = She is jumping into the box.

speaker Oft saß sie vor dem Kamin und starrte ins Feuer. = She was often sitting in front of the fireplace and stared into the fire. [C Sylva: Aus meinem Königreich]

speaker Können sie alle drin? = Can all of them fit in/into it? (car, house, box, etc)

speaker Da ist die Schlafzimmer. Stellt ihr den Schrank darin. = There is a bedroom there. Put the wardrobe into it.

speaker Ich gehe drinnen. = I'm going inside.

Examples - NO change of location:

speaker Ich reise in der Niederlande. = I am travelling in/around/within the Netherlands.

speaker Ich bin im Vereinigten Königreich. = I am in the United Kingdom.

speaker Wo wohnst du? In der Schweiz. = Where do you live/reside? In Switzerland.

speaker Meine Schwester wohnt in den USA. = My sister lives in the USA.

speaker Er will in dieser Gebäude arbeiten. = He wants to work in this building.

speaker Wo bist du? Ich bin in der Bank. = Where are you? I am in the bank.

speaker Maria ist in dem Flughafen. Kannst du sie abholen? = Maria is in the airport. Can you pick her up?

speaker Bist du in der Bar gewesen? Nein, ich war im Kino. = Were you in the bar? No, I was in the cinema.

speaker Wo ist mein Handy? Es ist im Wasser. = Where is my mobile? It's in the water.

speaker Ist Mark noch in der Uni? = Is Mark still in the Uni?

speaker Warum ist sie heute nicht in der Schule? = Why is she not at school today?

speaker Wohnst du in Freiburg? Nein, schon in Ulm. = Do you live in Freiburg? No, already in Ulm.

speaker Er saß neben Olimpia, ihre Hand in der seinigen und sprach hochentflammt und begeistert von seiner Liebe in Worten, die keiner verstand. = He sat next to Olimpia, her hand in his (hands), and spoke passionately and enthusiastically of his love in words that no one understood. [E.T.A. Hoffmann: Nachtstücke]

speaker Ich bin im Haus. = I'm in the house.

speaker Ich bin zu Hause. = I'm at home.

speaker Wo ist sie? In ihrem Zimmer. = Where is she? In her room.

speaker Er war im gelben Mantel. = He was in the yellow coat.

speaker Sie springt in der Kiste. = She is jumping in/inside the box.

speaker Worin liegt der Unterschied? = In what lies the difference? (Where is the difference?)

speaker Worin besteht der Vorteil? = In what is the benefit? (Where is the benefit?)

speaker Kann ich Ihnen worin dienen? = Can I be at Your service in anything? (Can I help You with anything?) [G E Lessing: Auftritt]

speaker Können sie alle darin sitzen? = Can all of them site inside in?

speaker Ich sehe ein Haus. Jemand ist darin. = I see a house. Someone is in it.

speaker Siehst du das hohe Gebäude? Darin findet die Ausstellung statt. = You see that tall building? The exhibition takes place in/inside it.

speaker Hat dieser Saft zu viel Zucker drin/drinen? = Does this juice has too much sugar in it?

always: nach + Dativ
 nach [naːx] = to, towards, into

German preposition nach describes direction of movement to or towards its object.

Nach is also used to describe direction into the countries whose names do not have article, i.e.:
   Er ist nach Deutschland gezogen. = He's moved to/into Germany.

Preposition nach is used in the structures with wo- and da-, to create compounds wonach = to what/where to?, and danach = to it/that.
These are used only with non-living objects.


speaker Fahren Sie nach Cork? = Are you driving/going to Cork?

speaker Er geht nach Osten. = He goes (to the) East.

speaker Sie müssen nach links fahren. = You must drive to the left.

speaker Er soll nach rechts gehen. = He should go to the right.

speaker Gehen Sie nach außen. = Go outside.

speaker Kannst du von rechts nach links schreiben? = Can you write from right to left?

speaker Wir gehen nach Hause. = We are going home.

speaker Dieser Zug fährt nach München. = This train goes to Munich.

speaker Lass uns nach Süden reisen. = Let's travel South.

speaker Das Zimmer geht nach dem Garten. = This room goes/leads to the garden.

speaker Gehen Sie nach Norden. = Go North.

speaker Wann reisen Sie nach Deutschland? = When are You travelling/going to/into Germany?

speaker Ich fliege morgen nach Frankreich. = I am flying tomorrow to France. [Voll ins Leben]

speaker Ich fahre nach Italien. = I am driving/going to/into France.

speaker Meine erste Reise nach Ägypten. = My first trip to/into Egypt. [H Brugsch]

speaker Heute morgen fuhr ich nach Düsseldorf. = This morning I was driving to Dusseldorf. [Georg Weerth]

speaker Wonach fliegt das Flugzeug? Nach New York. = Where does the plain fly to? To/Into New York.

speaker Fahren wir nach London. Nein, ich will nicht danach. = Let's drive to London. No, I don't want to go into it.

location is changing: neben + Akkusativ
 neben ['neːbən] = next to, beside, by

German preposition of direction neben indicates that someone or something is moving next to, beside, by of the object that this preposition points to.

As most German prepositions, neben is also used with wo- and da-, to create compounds:
   woneben = next to what?, and
   daneben = next to it/that,
which apply only to the non-living objects.


speaker Ich setze mich neben ihn. = I sit down near him.

speaker Bitte stellen Sie das Gepäck neben den Tisch. = Please put/place the luggage next to the table.

speaker Darf ich mich neben Sie setzen? = May I sit down next to You?

speaker Sie sagen, sie wollen neben uns umziehen. = They are saying they want to move next to us. (next to our place)

speaker Am Abend, als er in dem großen Bett lag, setzte sich die Mutter neben ihn und schaute schweigend durchs Fenster. = In the evening, as he was laying in a large bed, the mother set down next to him and was silently looking through the window. [Ida Frohnmeyer]

speaker Ottilie hatte sich neben sie auf das Sopha gesetzt und trank. = Ottilie set down on the sofa next to her and drunk. [Friedrich Gerstäcker: Der Erbe]

speaker Neben ihn hatte sich sein Kanzler gestellt. = His chancellor stood next to him. (moved closer to him) [Meyer: Die Versuchung des Pescara]

speaker Woneben soll ich stehen? = Beside what shall I stand up/move?

speaker Stellen Sie sie daneben. = Put it beside it.

speaker Das ist mein Koffer. Stelle deinen daneben. = This is my suitcase. Put yours next to/by it.

speaker Ah, so schöne Wand. Ich setze mich daneben. = Oh, such a nice/beautiful wall. I'll sit down next to it.

speaker Schöner Fontäne. Setzen wir uns daneben. = Nice fountain. Let's sit down next to it.

speaker Schöner Mann. Setzen wir uns neben ihn. = Nice man. Let's sit down next to him.

location is not changing: neben + Dativ
 neben ['neːbən] = next to, beside

German preposition of place neben indicates that someone or something are located next to, beside or by the object that this preposition points to.

Neben is also used with wo- and da-, to create compounds:
   woneben = next to what?, and
   daneben = next to it/that,
that are used with something, not someone.


speaker Ich saß neben ihm. = I set/was sitting beside/next to him.

speaker Sie sprang neben mir. = She was jumping next to me. (was all the time next to me and jumping)

speaker Das Hotel muss neben der Brücke sein. = The hotel must be next to the bridge.

speaker Ulrike hielt ihr Brot neben sich. = Ulrike was holding her bread next to herself. (sich in Dative case)

speaker Sie sagen, sie wollen neben uns wohnen. = They say they want to live next to us. (uns in Dative case)

speaker Wir haben nebeneinander gestanden. = We were standing next to each other.

speaker Er saß neben Olimpia, ihre Hand in der seinigen und sprach hochentflammt und begeistert von seiner Liebe in Worten, die keiner verstand. = He sat next to Olimpia, her hand in his (hands), and spoke passionately and enthusiastically of his love in words that no one understood. [E.T.A. Hoffmann: Nachtstücke]

speaker Der Friedhof liegt dicht neben dem Pfarrhausgarten. = The cemetery is located close to the vicarage garden. [Ida Frohnmeyer]

speaker Woneben soll ich warten? = Next to what shall I wait?

speaker Da steht ein Buch. Daneben liegen drei Stifte. = There is a book. Next to it are three pens.

speaker Daneben stand die Bretagne, damals noch zu England gehörig. = Next to that was Brittany, at that time still belonging to England. [Guilielmus, 16]

speaker Sehen Sie die Gebäude? Die Apotheke liegt daneben. = Do You see the building? The pharmacy is next to it.

speaker Dort hängt das Bild von Rembrandt und daneben das von Rubens. = There hangs the Rembrandt's picture and next to it the one from Rubens.

speaker Schöner Fontäne und wir sitzen daneben. = Nice fountain and we are sitting next to it.

speaker Schöner Mann und wir sitzen neben ihm. = Nice man and we are siting next to him.

location is changing: über + Akkusativ
 über ['yːbɐ] = over

German preposition of direction über indicates that someone or something is moving from somewhere else to over the object that this preposition points to.

Über is used with wo- and da- to create compounds
 worüber? = above/over what ?, and
 darüber = above/over it/that,
that apply only to non-living objects.

In informal language darüber is often shortened to drüber.


speaker Der Hund springt über den Bach. = The dog jumps over the stream.

speaker Er tritt über den Hocker. = He steps over the stool.

speaker Von Konstanz bis Meersburg sind wir mit der Fähre über die Bodensee gefahren. = From Constance to Meersburg we went across Lake Constance by the ferry.

speaker Ich kann es über das Internet kaufen. = I can buy that over the Internet.

speaker Kannst du über diesen Fluss schwimmen? = Can you swim over this river?

speaker Viktor ist über die Mauer gesprungen. = Victor jumped over the wall.

speaker Über unser Dorf fliegen die Gänse. = The geese are flying over our village.

speaker Schon zogen dunkle Wolken über unser Haus. = The dark clouds were already moving/drifting over our house.

speaker Hänge den Spiegel über das Waschbecken. = Hang the mirror above the sink.

speaker Sie zieht ihren Mantel über ihr Kleid. = She is putting her coat over her dress.

speaker Der Nebel legt sich über die Straße. = The fog lies/settles over the road.

speaker Legen Sie die Abdeckung über das Auto. = Put the cover over the car.

speaker Breite die Decke über den Tisch. = Spread the cover/banket over the table.

speaker Wir müssen über diese Straße queren? = We have to cross over this street/road. (here we can use the verb überqueren)

speaker Da steht ein Tisch. Breite die Decke darüber. = There is a table. Spread the blanket/cover over it.

speaker Es gibt einen kleinen Tisch im Zimmer. Hängen Sie die Glühbirne darüber. = In the room there is a small table. Hang the lamp over it.

speaker Ich sehe ein Haus, aber ich sehe nicht was darüber hängt. = I see the house. But I cannot see what is hanging over it.

speaker Siehst du die Brücke? Wir werden darüber fahren. = Do you see the bridge? We will be driving over it.

speaker Worüber werden wir fahren? Über den Fluss. = Over what will we be driving? Over the river.

speaker Worüber kannst du springen? = What can you jump over?

speaker Er wird über ihn springen. Worüber? Über den Tisch. = He will be jumping over it. Over what? Over the table.

location is not changing: über + Dativ
 über ['yːbɐ] = above

German preposition of place über indicates that the described action is taking place above or over the object that this preposition points to.

Über is used with wo- and da- to create compounds
 worüber? = above what ?, and
 darüber = above it/that,
that apply only to non-living objects.

In informal language darüber is often shortened to drüber.


speaker Wir fahren 1 km über dem Meeresspiegel. = We are driving 1 km above the sea level.

speaker Dover Burg liegt 120 Metern über dem Meeresspiegel. = Dover Castle is 120 meters above the sea level.

speaker Der Adler schwebt über dem Feld. = The eagle is hovering above the field.

speaker Über uns sind dichte Wolken. = Above us are thick/dense clouds.

speaker Weißt du, wer über uns wohnt? = Do you know who lives above us? (uns is in Dative case)

speaker Liegt die Decke über dem Sofa? = Is the blanket above the sofa?

speaker Über den Bergen liegt der Schnee. = Above the mountains lies the snow.

speaker Warum hängt es über meinem Kopf? = Why is this hanging above my head?

speaker Was ist über den Wolken? = What is above the clouds?

speaker Der Spiegel hängt über dem Waschbecken. = The mirror is above the sink.

speaker Sie trägt ihren Mantel über ihrem Kleid. = She has/wears her coat over her dress.

speaker Über der Straße lag der Nebel. = Over/Above the road lay the fog.

speaker Worüber hängt die Lampe? Über dem Tisch. = Above what hags the lamp? Above the table.

speaker Worüber stehst du? = Above what are you standing?

speaker Das Weizenfeld und darüber schwebt ein Falke. = The wheat field and above it hovers a falcon.

speaker Ein Nachttisch und das Licht darüber. = A bedside table and the light above it.

speaker Sie trug ein Kleid und etwas anderes darüber. = She was wearing a dress and something else above/over it.

speaker In der Ecke stand ein Stuhl. Darüber lag eine Jacke. = In the corner stood a chair. Over it lay a jacket.

always: um + Akkusativ
 um [ʊm] = around

German preposition of space and direction um indicates that the action is happening around the object that this preposition points to.

Um is used with wo- and da- to create compounds
 worum? = around what ?, and
 darum = around it/that,
that apply only to non-living objects.

In an informal language darum is often shortened to drum.

Um is also used to create adverb (how?) herum = around to here to point that it is the movement towards ourselves, very similar to when we use hierher = to here instead of hier = here.

Adverb herum is also used to enhance um.


speaker Die Erde kreist um die Sonne. = The Earth is circling around the Sun.

speaker Die Erde dreht sich um ihre eigene Achse. = The Earth is circling around its axis.

speaker Die Straßenbahn biegt um die Ecke. = The tram is turning around the corner.

speaker Suchen Sie den Buchladen? Er ist gleich um die Ecke. = Are You looking for a bookshop? It is right around the corner.

speaker Sie hatte ihren Schal um den Hals an. = She had her scarf around her neck.

speaker Um unser Haus bauen wir einen hohen Zaun. = Around our house we are building a tall fence.

speaker Wir saßen um das Fernsehgerät. = We were sitting around the TV.

speaker Die Fliege fliegt den ganzen Tag um mich herum. = The fly has been flying the whole day around me.

speaker Sie dreht den Kopf ganz nach ihm herum. = She turns the head (fully) around to him. [Svend Fleuron: Strix]

speaker Wir haben die Wachen um das ganze Lager herum aufgestellt. = We placed the guards all around the camp.

speaker Die Bäume stehen um den Park herum. = The trees are all around the park.

speaker Sein mageres Gesicht war von kleinen, feinen Runzeln übersät, besonders um die Augen herum. = His slim face was filled with small thin wrinkles, in particular around the eyes. [E. K. Rahsin]

speaker Dann ist er weiter, um den Stuhl herum, nach dem Fenster hin gekommen. = Then he went further, around the stool, to/towards the window. [J W von Goethe: Goethe und Werther]

speaker Alles tanzt um mich herum. = Everything is dancing around me. [J W von Goethe: Goethe und Werther]

speaker Alle drei trommeln auf dem Tisch herum. = All three are knocking around on the table. [G Hauptmann: Gabriel Schillings Flucht]

speaker Worum war es gewickelt? = Around what was it wrapped?

speaker Die Stange, worum das Seil gewickelt wurde, ist verrostet. = The rod around which the rope was wrapped is rusted. [wiki]

speaker Siehst du jene Ecke? Wir fahren darum. = Do you see that corner? We are going/driving around it.

speaker Die Häuslein sind um den Fuß der Vorberge gesäet. Und der Bergwald legt seine grünen Arme darum. = The little houses are sown around the foot of the foothills. And the mountain forest wraps its green arms around them. [M Geißler: Jockele und die Mädchen]

location is changing: unter + Akkusativ
 unter ['ʊntɐ] = under

German preposition of direction unter indicates that someone or something is moving from somewhere else to under the object that this preposition is pointing to.

Unter is used with wo- and da- to create compounds:
 worunter? = under what ?, and
 darunter = under it/that.

In an informal language darunter is often shortened to drunter.


speaker Ich verstecke sie unter diesen Stein. = I will hide it under this Stone.

speaker Geh unter die Dusche, und zwar sofort. = Go under the shower, and indeed/surely right now/straight away.

speaker Er ist unter das Wasser gegangen. = He went under the water.

speaker Er kroch unter das Bett. = He crawled under the bed. [E. K. Rahsin]

speaker Der Hund kroch unter den Tisch. = The dog crawled under the table.

speaker Kannst du unter Wasser springen? = Can you jump under the water?

speaker Lege das Buch unter das dritte Regal. = Put the book under the third shelf.

speaker Worunter soll ich sie legen? = Under what shall I put it?

speaker Worunter geht die Scheibe? Unter die Mutter. = Under what does the washer go? Under the nut.

speaker Die Texte wurden aus den Bildern herausgelöst und darunter gesetzt. = The texts were wiped out of the pictures and put under them. [Sibylle von Olfers: König Löwes Hochzeitsschmaus]

speaker Der runde Tisch. Schau mal darunter. = The round table. Have a look under it.

speaker Wir haben es darunter geschoben. = We pushed it under it.

speaker Weißt du was du darunter gelegt hast? = Do you know what you put under it?

speaker Das ist eine Decke. Jemand legt sich darunter. = That is a cover. Someone is going under it.

location is not changing: unter + Dativ
 unter ['ʊntɐ] = under

German preposition of place unter indicates that the described action is happening under the object that this preposition points to.

Unter is used with wo- and da- to create compounds:
 worunter? = under what ?, and
 darunter = under it/that.

In an informal language darunter is often shortened to drunter.


speaker Wir leben unter den Alpen. = We live under the Alps.

speaker Sie ist unter dem Wasser und macht Bläschen. = She is under the water and makes bubbles.

speaker Heute sitze ich unter der Sonne und schwitze. = Today I am sitting in/under the sun and sweating.

speaker Das habe ich unter den Steinen gefunden. = I found that under the stones.

speaker Sie ist versteckt unter diesem Stein. = She is hidden under this stone.

speaker Wir wohnen unter ihnen/Ihnen. = We live under them/You.

speaker Was hast du unter deinem Mantel? = What do you have under your coat?

speaker Er starb unter einem russischen Panzer. = He died under a Russian tank.

speaker Wenn es gewittert, verkriechen sich die Vögel unter dem Busch. = When it is stormy, the birds hide under the bushes. [Wilhelm Raabe: Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse]

speaker Der Stier unter dem Regenbogen. = The bull under the rainbow. [Marc Franz]

speaker Sie saßen unter den Birnbäumen. = They were sitting under pear trees.

speaker Worunter hast du dich versteckt? = Under what have you hidden (yourself)?

speaker Ich legte den Stift, worunter der Bleistift liegt. = I put the pen, under what the pencil is.

speaker Die Zweige hängen nieder, Darunter sitzt das Kind. = The branches are hanging. Under them sits the child. [Theodor Storm: Immensee]

speaker Der Boden war alt und es war noch etwas darunter. = The floor was old and under it was something else.

speaker Der Alter war verrückt, hatte nur einen Mantel an und nichts darunter. = The old (man) was crazy, had only a coat and nothing under it.

speaker Auf der Seite stand Ihr Name mit Ihre Adresse darunter. = On the page was Your name with Your address under it.

always: von + Dativ
 von [fɔn] = from, off

German preposition of direction von describes the movement of someone or something from or off the object that this preposition refers to.

Preposition von is often used with nach to describe movement between geographical locations, like:
 von Berlin nach London = from Berlin to London.

Von is used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wovon? = from what ?, and
 davon = from it/that,
that are used instead of any non-living object or objects.

In an informal language von dem is often shortened to vom.


speaker Er kam von seiner Arbeit. = He was coming from his work.

speaker Sie kommt von Jan. = She is coming from Jan.

speaker Wir kommen vom Bahnhof. = We are coming from the railway station.

speaker Von nichts kommt nichts. = From nothing comes nothing.

speaker Die fliegen von Bern nach Leon. = They are flying from Bern to Leon.

speaker Der Zug fährt von Hamburg nach Berlin. = The train goes from Hamburg to Berlin.

speaker Ich komme von oben nach unten. = I am coming from upstairs to downstairs.

speaker Die Aussicht von diesem Berg ist sehr gut. = The view from this mountain is very good.

speaker Es ist nicht weit von here. = It is not far from here.

speaker Maria kam von ihrem Arzt. = Maria was coming from her doctor.

speaker Das Auto ist von rechts gekommen. = The car came from the right.

speaker Wir sind von Stadt zu Stadt gefahren. = We were driving from town to town.

speaker Tom ist von Straße gekommen. = Tom came from street.

speaker Wovon kommt der Geruch? = What does the smell/odour is coming from?

speaker Wovon ist das Geräusch? = What is the noise from?

speaker Wovon rennt das Wasser? = What is the water running from?

speaker Wovon hast du dieses Teil genommen? = What did you take/removed this part from?

speaker Da lag ein Dorf. Ich kam davon. = There was a village. I came from it.

speaker Meine Eltern wohnen in Italien. Gerade komme ich davon. = My parents live in Italy. I am coming from it now.

speaker Sehen Sie die Mauer? Die sprang davon. = Do you see the wall? She jumped from it.

location is changing: vor + Akkusativ
 vor ['foːɐ̯] = in front of, before

German preposition of direction vor describes the movement of someone or something from somewhere else to in front of or before the object that this preposition is pointing to.

Vor is used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wovor? = in front of what ?, and
 davor = in front of it/that,
that are used instead of any non-living object or objects.


speaker Ich stand vor ihn. = I stood up in front of him.

speaker Vor dieses Wort musst du ein Komma setzen. = You must put comma in front of this word.

speaker Helene tritt vor den Spiegel, ordnet dies und das an ihrer Toilette. = Helene steps in front of the mirror, arranges this and that on her toilet. [G Hauptmann: Vor Sonnenaufgang]

speaker Wolken treten vor den Mond. = The clouds step/move in front of the Moon. [F Kafka: Ein Landarzt]

speaker Er wirft ihm die Pakete vor die Füße. = He throws the package before his feet. [H von Hofmannsthal: Der Tor und der Tod]

speaker Sie hielt die Hand vor die Augen, als ob sie schliefe und schaute zwischen den Fingern nach der Türe. = She put the hand before the eyes, as if she was sleeping and was looking for the door through/between the fingers. [P Leppin: Ein Prager Gespensterroman]

speaker Als sie vor die Haustür traten, gab Reinhard ihr den Arm. = As they stepped before the house doors, Reinhard gave her hand. [T Storm: Immensee]

speaker Wovor soll ich den Koffer hinstellen? = In front of what shall I put the suitcase?

speaker Wovor soll ich das Komma setzen? = Before what shall I put the comma?

speaker Die weiße Tür. Stellen Sie die Tasche davor. = The white door. Place the bag in front of it.

speaker Sie küßt das Bild und kniet davor nieder. = She kisses the picture and kneels deep in front of it.

speaker Vor wen stellt sie sich? Vor mich. = In front of whom does she step? In front of me.

location is not changing: vor + Dativ
 vor ['foːɐ̯] = in front of, before

German preposition of place vor indicates that the described action is taking place in front of the object that this preposition points to.

Vor is used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wovor? = in front of what ?, and
 davor = in front of it/that,
that are used instead of any non-living object or objects.


speaker Ich stand vor ihm. = I was standing in front of him.

speaker Ich rene vor ihr. = I am running in front of her.

speaker Er springt vor mir. = He is jumping in front of me.

speaker Unser Garten liegt nicht vor dem Haus, sondern dahinter. = Our garden is not in front of the house, but/instead behind it.

speaker Ich habe den ganzen Tag vor der Tür gestanden. = I was standing before the door the whole day.

speaker Draußen vor den Fenstern in dem schmalen Steinhof stand eine große Linde. = Outside the windows in the narrow stone courtyard stood a tall lime tree. [T Storm: Im Saal]

speaker Ich habe eine Schusterwerkstatt auf dem Platz vor dem kaiserlichen Palast. = I have a cobbler's workshop on the square in front of the imperial palace. [F Kafka: Ein Landarzt]

speaker Geradeaus vor mir war die Kiste, Brett fest an Brett gefügt. = The box was right in front of me, joined board to board. [F Kafka: Ein Landarzt]

speaker Pauna verschluckte ihre Thränen vor den Leuten. = Pauna choked back her tears in front of the people. [C Sylva: Aus meinem Königreich]

speaker Oft saß sie vor dem Kamin und starrte ins Feuer. = She was often sitting in front of the fireplace and stared into the fire. [C Sylva: Aus meinem Königreich]

speaker Wovor hast du gehalten? = In front of what did you stop?

speaker Wovor sitzt du? = In front of what are you sitting?

speaker Wovor rennt sie? = In front of what is she running?

speaker Eine Wand mit dem Stuhl davor. = A wall with the stool in front of it.

speaker Da war ein Haus und er stand davor. = There was a house and he was standing in front of it.

speaker Hier steht ein roter LKW. Ich warte davor. = Here is a red lorry/truck. I am waiting in front of it.

speaker Vor wem steht sie? Vor mir. = In front of whom is she standing? In front of me.

always: zu + Dativ
 zu [ʦuː] = to, towards

German preposition of direction zu indicates that someone or something is moving in the direction to or towards the object that this preposition is pointing to.

As the preposition of direction, zu is also referred to as Richtungspräposition - directional preposition.

Zu is also used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wozu? = to what ?, and
 dazu = to it/that,
and are used instead of any non-living object or objects.

Very often zu dem is shortened to zum, and
zu der shortened as zur.


speaker Sie geht zu mir. = She goes to/towards me.

speaker Bitte gehen Sie zur nächsten Haltestelle. = Please go to the next stop.

speaker Bitte wenden Sie zu mir. = Please turnt to/towards me.

speaker Paul stürzte zu Boden. = Paul fell to the floor.

speaker Ich muss zum Arzt. = I must (go) to the (male)doctor.

speaker Ich muss zur Ärztin. = I must (go) to the (female)doctor/doctoress.

speaker Sie haben mich zu Tisch geladen. = They invited me to the table.

speaker Ich glaube, dieser Wein steigt mir zu Kopfe. = I believe this wine raises to my head/brain.

speaker Vielleicht sollen wir zu Bett gehen. = Maybe we should go to bed.

speaker Ich fahre nur bis zur Haltestelle. = I am driving only up to the stop.

speaker Sie geht zu Lisa. = She is going to Lisa.

speaker Bist du heute zur Schule gegangen? = Have you gone/been to school today?

speaker Wir gehen diesen Samstag zum Konzert. = We are going to the concert this Saturday.

speaker Gibt es Wein zum Essen? = Is there wine to the meal? (Do you serve wine with the meal?)

speaker Warum gehst du nicht zur Arbeit? = Why are you not going to work?

speaker Es passt nicht zu dir. = It fits (to) you.

speaker Das ist die Tür zu meinem Zimmer. = That is the door to my room.

speaker Wozu will er das legen? = What does he want to put it to?

speaker Wozu fliegt das Flugzeug? = What is this plane flying to?

speaker Wozu passt dieses Kleid? = To what does this skirt fit?

speaker Das gelbe Gebäude. We gehen dazu. = The yellow building. We are going to it.

speaker Der schwarze Zaun. Ich fahre dazu. = The black fence. I am driving to it.

location is changing: zwischen + Akkusativ
 zwischen ['ʦvɪʃn̩] = between, into between

German preposition of direction zwischen indicates that someone or something is moving from somewhere else to between the object or objects that this preposition points to.

Zwischen is also used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wozwischen? = between what ?, and
 dazwischen = between it/that,
and are used instead of any non-living object or objects.


speaker Er hat den Zettel zwischen die zwei Bücher versteckt. = He was hiding the note into between two books.

speaker Er schlug ihm zwischen die Augen. = He hit him between the eyes.

speaker Ich bin zwischen zwei hohe Mauern eingetreten. = I entered between two high/tall walls.

speaker Die Fräulein so bald sie den Brief überkommen, stecket sie ihn schleunig zwischen die Brüste. = As soon as she receives the letter, she quickly puts it between her breasts. [C H von Hoffmannswaldau]

speaker Er nahm den Bleistift zwischen die Zähne. = He took the pencil into between his teeth.

speaker Greift Venus zwischen die Beine. Sein Schwänzchen wird ihm hart. = Grabs Venus between the legs. His cock is getting hard. [G A Bürger: An die Feinde des Priaps]

speaker Setzen Sie ein Komma zwischen diese zwei Wörter. = Put a comma between these two words.

speaker Einige Abbildungen wurden zwischen die Absätze verschoben. = Some illustrations have been moved to between the paragraphs. [H Knackfuß: Raffael]

speaker Er ist zwischen die Blumen gefallen. = He fell between the flowers.

speaker Setz dich dort in den Schatten zwischen die Kräuter. = Sit down there in the shade among the herbs. [T Storm: Immensee]

speaker Herr Göppel nahm ihren Arm zwischen seine beiden Hände. = Mr Göppel took her arm between his two hands. [H Mann: Der Untertan]

speaker Wozwischen hast du dein Auto geparkt? = Between what did you park your car?

speaker Wozwischen geht sie hin? = Between what is she going to?

speaker Ich will dazwischen hingehen. = I want to go to between that.

speaker Und ich habe meinen Hammer dazwischen gelegt. = And I put my hammer between them.

location is not changing: zwischen + Dativ
 zwischen ['ʦvɪʃn̩] = between, in between

German preposition of place zwischen indicates that the action is performed between the object or objects that this preposition points to and within the same space.

Zwischen is also used with the wo- and da- to create compounds:
 wozwischen? = between what ?, and
 dazwischen = between it/that,
and are used instead of any non-living object or objects.


speaker Ich stehe zwischen zwei alten Männern. = I am standing between two old men.

speaker Er hielt etwas zwischen seinen Fingern. = He is holding something between his fingers.

speaker Sie ging zwischen jenen beiden Häusern. = She was walking between those two houses.

speaker Das Tal lag zwischen den beiden hohen Bergen. = The valley lay/was between the two high mountains.

speaker Was ist die kürzeste Verbindung zwischen den beiden Punkten? = What/Which is the shortest connection between the two points?

speaker Kannst du zwischen den Zeilen lesen? = Cay you read between the lines?

speaker Ihr werdet zwischen ihr und mir stehen. = You will be standing between her and me.

speaker Das Blatt lag zwischen zwei Ordnern. = The leave was laying between two folders.

speaker Der Zettel lag zwischen den Papieren. = The notice was laying in between the papers.

speaker Wozwischen? = Between what?

speaker Wozwischen stand er? = Between what was he standing?

speaker Wozwischen bist du gefahren? = Between what were you riding? (within the same location)

speaker Wozwischen rote Rosen glänzen. = Between what the red roses glitter. [Ludwig Tieck]

speaker Ich weiß nicht, was dazwischen ist. = I don't know what between them is.

speaker Dazwischen stand ein Stuhl. = Between them was standing a chair/stool. [Goethe: Diego de Carvalho e Sampayo]

The list of German country names that have definite article:

der Irak
der Iran
der Jemen
der Kongo
der Libanon
der Niger
der Oman
der Senegal
der Sudan
der Tschad
der Vatikan

die Cookinseln
die Dominica
die Dominikanische Republik
die Elfenbeinküste
die Kapverdischen Inseln
die Marshallinseln
die Mongolei
die Schweiz
die Slowakei
die Türkei
die Ukraine
die Zentralafrikanische Republik

das Island
das Israel
das Vereinigte Königreich
Plural: die Bahamas
die Komoren
die Malediven
die Niederlande
die Philippinen
die Salomonen
die Seychellen
die USA (die Vereinigten Staaten)

out, from
out of
by, with
up to
next to
in front of
with articles

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