I'm still a little puzzled here. 'Gehen' is intransitive, so doesn't take a direct object, which is what is usually rendered as accusative (eg, 'I take him to the store' would have 'him' in accusative and 'to the store' in dative). Am I right in deducing that the clause following a use of a transitive verb (eg, 'to the store' in 'I go to the store') would be rendered as accusative?
Gehen is used in a different meaning here and has nothing to do with "gehen" as in: "I go".
The meaning and the actual sentence hidden in this is the following:
"Die Rechnung geht auf Kosten des Hauses."
That means the price/value/amount in question will be transferred to the bill of the house, what means you don't pay but the house/host/etc. pays for it.
Having this cleared, nothing is physically moving, money is being transferred/refunded, that's all.
"Onto" is a preposition used with movement in English, so it is essentially like German accusative. I fix the flag onto the roof, the flag is on the roof. But "on " is also used accusatively all the time, probably more often than "onto", so you could also say I fix the flag on the roof. In fact, this would be more usual. My tendency is only to use onto when I want to draw a contrast or distinction, or seek clarification. "Do you mean you drove on the motorway or you drove onto the motorway?"
I said onto as well. And i don't know if the context is that it is supposed to go onto the house or if something is just merely on it. "That goes onto the house" like "that" would likely be replaced by the object if it was a projectile landing on the house "the spit is going onto the house" or if something belongs on the house... "It is supposed to go onto the house." If something is just "on the house" i wouldnt have said "onto"
It seems that "Das geht aufs Konto." might have been a better sentence to get across the meaning . . . I initially pictured something that would be affixed to the roof of a house, like solar panels or something . . . Wait a minute! I guess I don't hang out in bars enough. Is this what the barman might say to indicate the drink he is serving someone is at no charge?!?
@ Wait a minute! I guess I don't hang out in bars enough. Is this what the barman might say to indicate the drink he is serving someone is at no charge?!?
Yes it is. Of course you would here that in a bar. It is most common. What I always point out in my comments is that without context and for novice language learners it can be confusing at the beginning.
The rule about double-case prepositions is not based on whether the verb is transitive or intransitive, but instead whether sentence indicates position (dative) vs movement (accusative) with respect to the preposition in question. The classic example is lf course:
Er ist in der Küche. (Dat) Er geht in die Küche. (Acc)
The second sentence has 'Küche' in the accusative case despite the verb being intransitive.
so basically this is the german equivalent to the english colloquialism "its on the house"-your drink's for free, so that's why its in accusative form-"aufs"……... but if the sentence was meant to be in a literal way as in "the flag goes on the house" then it would use dative case-"das geht auf dem Haus"? is that right, or would it be accusative case in both circumstances?
The accusative form is also used when a preposition is used to indicate a change in position. The implication with "The flag goes on the house" is that it is being placed onto the house, which it wasn't before. In this case the accusative would be used. The dative would be used for "The flag is on the house", because the flag is already on the house and not changing position.
Usted tiene razón, muchas gracias.
Actually Christian is right, with more than 90% likelihood it means the host pays, you get something for free, it is complimentary because the chef or waiter messed up!!!!!!!! The literally translation is. Something will be mounted on top of the House (roof), but there are better ways in German to say that. Ask the Germans, Duolingo should also check with native speakers b4 they release their translations, so much confusion here and there.....
Now context and inflection comes in.
"That is on the house." Spoken straight and without any other context the meaning would be most likely physical (on top of...)
"That's on the house" with a smile on the face, and the right context means: "Das geht aufs Haus." or what stonitoc above suggests.