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  5. "Die Frau schreibt am Tisch."

"Die Frau schreibt am Tisch."

Translation:The woman is writing at the table.

January 7, 2014

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lost_in_light

"The woman is writing at the desk," should be an acceptable translation despite the change in word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bluej15

If "am" can translate to "at" as well as "on" how would you say when someone is actually making marks on a table without it being misinterpreted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lost_in_light

I'm not sure if your question was about the English sentence or the German, so I'll try to answer both. "On" literally means "on top of." So if you say "The woman is writing on the desk," you are saying that she is making marks on the table's surface (Die Frau schreibt auf dem Tisch). Similarly, "Die Frau sitzt am Tisch," should be, "The woman is sitting (or sits) at the table." "The woman is sitting on the table," is "Die Frau sitzt auf dem Tisch."

"Am" is a contraction of "an dem", which does not usually translate to "on" when talking about physical space, but prepositions are generally tricky.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johr-el

Lost_in_light, I'd like to thank you for such a simple yet great explanation. I never thought I'd learn so much English whilst studying German than I have from comments like yours and many other's. As a non-native speaker I've struggled for years to understand some its subtleties and I'd like to encourage you to keep up the good work. Shönnes Dank!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/recondite007

Lost-in-light gives a good answer; however, it should be noted that sometimes the German "an" can mean "on" in physical space.

When speaking literally of "on" in physical space, "auf" usually means on top of (i.e., it is vertically over it), whereas the German "an" is more like alongside or horizontally "on top of" (actually next to) - see the picture on the wall example below.

Examples: Ich bin am Strand. = I am at the beach. (I'm on the beach, but next to the water's edge.) Compare "Ich bin am See" (I'm at the lake, nearby it) and "Ich bin auf dem See" (I'm literally on top of the lake).

Das Bild hängt an der Wand. = The picture is hanging on the wall.

Sie steht auf dem Berg. = She stands on the mountain. (She is on the mountain's peak.) Sie steht am Berg. = She stands on the mountain. (She is on the side of the mountain.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackacorn

When do you use "Beim" and when do you use "am"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMiller36

What is the difference between aus and am?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jami.saich

Aus is "from" (Ich bin aus Berlin)

Am(an+dem) is "at the" (Ich sitze am Tisch)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cobalt272

'Am', is short for 'an dem', is there also 'ar', and 'an', similarly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mikrokosmonaut

You mean ar instead of an der? No, there is nothing like that.

masc. : an dem -> am fem. : an der -> an der neuter: an dem -> am


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-AndreaWu-

Why is "am Tisch" dative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas328056

Review the Duolingo "Tips" section for this skill.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LindaConwa4

Why is "The woman writes at the table", not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaredEngelken

Wow I lose a heart because I accidentally typed women instead of woman...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.fabiola.m.o

" Die Frau schreibt bei dem Tisch" is not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhmedSafwa8

Does "am" mean "at" or "at the" ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lost_in_light

It means "at the". Am is a contraction of an dem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephen536344

Why no "die" in front of tisch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KTFitz35

If you see Mikrokosmonaut's comment above - it describes the options for combining the prepositions with "an" to create new forms. This means that the prepositions do not have to be included again on their own.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paramesh8

Why can't it be "the woman writes about the table"? Does "an" not mean "about" in that sense, but rather in a location sense?

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