German prepositions:
space and direction

AB
from
AN
at
AUF
on
AUS
out, from
BEI
by, with
BIS
up to
DURCH
through
ENTLANG
along
GEGEN
against
GEGENÜBER
opposite
HINTER
behind
IN
in
NACH
to
NEBEN
near
ÜBER
above
UNTER
under
UM
around
VOR
in front of
ZU
to
ZWISCHEN
between
countries
with articles
 AB
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.

Examples:

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

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

 AN
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.

Examples:

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

Jan lehnte am Baum. = Yan has leaned at/on the tree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 AUF
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.

Examples:

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worauf stand er? = What was he standing on?

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

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

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]

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.

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

 AUS
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.

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sind Sie aus Japan? = Are you from Japan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 BEI
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.

Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Der Posten steht nah beim Haus. =

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

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

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

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

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


 BIS
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.

Examples:

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

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

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]

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

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

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

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]

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]

Vom Verona bis Venedig. = From Verona to Venice.

Vom Leipzig bis Frankfurt. = From Leipzig to Frankfurt.



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)


AB
from, of
AN
at
AUF
on
AUS
out, from
BEI
by, with
BIS
up to
DURCH
through
ENTLANG
along
GEGEN
against
GEGENÜBER
opposite
HINTER
behind
IN
in
NACH
to
NEBEN
near
ÜBER
above
UNTER
under
UM
around
VOR
in front of
ZU
to
ZWISCHEN
between
countries
with articles

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