"The hand lies on the table."

Translation:Die Hand liegt auf dem Tisch.

January 18, 2013


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As the hand is part of the body and cannot be (lie) on its own, except the hand is disembodied, Germans would say: "Die Hand ist auf dem Tisch."

Some German sentences in this context:

"Nimm die Hand vom Tisch!"
"Er hat die Hand auf dem Tisch" (where "seine" is implied) "Seine Hand ist auf dem Tisch" Maybe even: "Seine Hand liegt auf dem Tisch" But just: "Die Hand liegt auf dem Tisch" sounds very much like the disembodied hand lies on the table.

Some German dialect: "Er hat seine Hand auf dem Tisch liegen" (I would judge it as not "Hochdeutsch")

January 18, 2013

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Why is not correct: Die Hand liegt am Tisch?

October 22, 2013


You've got to use "auf" because a table provides a horizontal surface, which usually requires "auf." "An" is used more for vertical surfaces, like a window: "Die Hand ist an dem (am) Fenster."

February 27, 2014

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Why sometimes "on the table" is translated as "auf dem Tisch" and sometimes as "auf den Tisch"?

February 6, 2014


Because "auf" is one of those two-way prepositions. "Auf dem Tisch" shows that something is positioned statically on the table, while "auf den Tisch" shows movement to the table. For instance:

"Die Vase stellt auf dem Tisch." - the vase is on the table (no movement)

"Ich stelle die Vase auf den Tisch" - I'm placing the vase, so there's movement.

February 27, 2014
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