1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Die Brüder sitzen am Tisch."

"Die Brüder sitzen am Tisch."

Translation:The brothers are sitting at the table.

December 8, 2015



How to make the distinction in German between: (1) "Sit at the table" and (2) "Sit on top of the table"? Maybe the brothers are small kids and having fun, literally on top of the table.


I think that saying ,,they are sitting ON the table'' might translate to something more like this: "die brüder sitzen AUF dem tisch"


Tip: "am" means "an dem"


Are 'an dem' and 'am' interchangeable, or is the contraction more grammatically correct?


When der, die, das means "that", you can't use the contraction. So "at that table" can only be an dem Tisch, not am Tisch.

When it means "the", I'd say that the contraction is generally preferred.


Thanks. I understand about 'der, die, and das.' I was curious about 'an dem vs am' specifically. Thanks for answering my question.


Why is "The brothers sit around the table" incorrect? To mean it means the same as The brothers are sitting at the table and make more sense that the brothers are sitting on the table unless they are actually sitting upon the table.


That would be "die Brüder sitzen um den Tisch herum", which could be the same as "am Tisch"/"at the table", but for all we know, they could be sitting on the same side of a rectangular or square table, in which case "around" wouldn't really be the best way to describe their seating arrangements. On the other hand, "sitting around the table" is definitely more common than "um den Tisch herum sitzen", which is rarely ever used because it's so clumsy, so maybe report it and see what the team makes of your answer.


I almost can't hear what is being said, am I the only one?


Not at all. Practically impossible to understand who is sitting


Cant one say the brothers sit at table?


I'm only a beginner, so I can't really address the idiom 'at table,' but I think the point of the lesson is for you to recognize that the contraction 'am' contains the article 'der.' Plus, 'at the table' could mean at any table doing anything, whereas 'at table' implies gathering at a table specifically for a meal. Hope there is someone out there who can answer your question more completely.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
Get started