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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



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


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.


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.


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!


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.)


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


What is the difference between aus and am?


Aus is "from" (Ich bin aus Berlin)

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


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


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


Why is "am Tisch" dative?


Review the Duolingo "Tips" section for this skill.


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


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


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


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


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


Why no "die" in front of tisch?


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.


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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