Notice all of those have a subject after the verb, save for work. You wanted them to sound normal, which is why you didn't just say: On Monday we play. On Monday we study. On Monday we eat out. Maybe they're fine structurally, but realistically we would add "will" (or, more likely, "we'll"). Your examples I imagine written: On Monday -- we play! Maybe said in the tone of a Game of Thrones character. On Monday -- we dine on the flesh of our enemies! But no one says: On Monday, we learn. Maybe a teacher who's implying that, at the end of the day Friday, she realizes the class has not learned anything.
A better translation in my opinion is "We will learn on Monday". This is because Germans often create a future statement by using the present tense and then throwing it into the future by giving a future time.
We do this in english too:
"I am playing tennis next week"
"We are going to France in the summer"
The subject and object in a sentence can be switched around but the verb stays in the same spot. It can be:
- Wir lernen am Montag.
- Am Montag lernen wir.
When the subject (the thing accusative or dative thing) is put before the verb, the object (the nominative thing) goes after it. There's no real difference in meaning that it creates that I'm aware of, it just puts more emphasis on the word that comes first.
Some more examples:
Ich esse den Apfel. > Den Apfel esse ich.
Er schläft im Bett. > Im Bett schläft er.
This has more to do with English idioms. "at noon" or "at 10 o'clock" (time), "on Monday" (day of the week), "on the fourth of July" (date), "in winter" (season), in August (month), in 1989 (year) Sometimes it is because in German a different preposition is used than in English, but in English we even use different prepositions with the same verb for almost the same thing to add a subtle difference in meaning. (In German the same preposition can be in a different case for a different meaning.) Why do we say we look at something, but when we are standing around and not participating we are looking on? http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa052101a.htm http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/am http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/an http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/DualPrepositions.htm http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang12b.htm http://german.about.com/library/bltimegloss.htm
“We're learning by Monday.” or "Wir lernen vor dem Montag.“ means that you are learning it before Monday to be ready for Monday. This sentence says that you are learning on Monday. http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/an
I see why you might have thought that since sometimes "am" can mean "by" when talking about position, but for time English is very specific about which preposition to use. http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-german/by http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang12.htm http://german.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/PrepPitfalls.htm http://german.about.com/library/bltimegloss.htm
"On Monday we study", is the way we say this in English. We will, hopefully, learn by studying, that there is a not so subtle difference between the way "to learn/lernen" and "to study/studieren" are used in the two languages. Germans often use "lernen" where in English we use "to study".
I have seen that construction in lists. Monday we learn; Tuesday we practice; Wednesday we have quizzes; Thursday we review; Friday we have tests
This is just a shortened version used in informal notes. These mean "On Monday we learn." ....etc.
"Next Monday" and "Last Monday" would not require "on" and these are perhaps used more often. "We always exercise on Mondays." would mean "every Monday".. Many people use "next", "last", "every" and rarely use "on", There is nothing wrong with using "On Monday" at the beginning of a sentence, but it is more commonly used at the end of a sentence, unless you want to stress that it is not on a different day.
Agreed, don't try to translate everything word-for-word because it just doesn't work like that :)
Just a little anecdote though, here in Australia it's pretty common to say "on the (weekday)". We never talk about months or anything else like that though, only weekdays. I think the English do it too.
Respectfully disagree: it is my understanding that if you use the preposition-less form it must be a regular thing (e.g., "Montags lernen wir" means we learn every Monday), but that if you use the "am Xtag" it could be either a repeated or singular event.
That being said, I put down the same answer "we learn on mondayS" and was marked incorrect, which I've tagged.