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  5. zum, zur, zun (to the)


zum, zur, zun (to the)


Can I use these words in the following sentences?

Sie geht zum Markt/Park; Sie geht zum Schlafzimmer; Sie geht zur Stadt; Sie geht zun Kindern.

On google translate, I get the following instead:

Sie geht auf den Markt, in den Park, ins schlafzimmer, in die Stadt, zu den Kindern.

While these must be right, the usages are unfamiliar to me right now. So do the words I learnt work as well?

Thank you

June 11, 2017



zur is zu der contracted. zum is zu dem contracted. zun doesn't exist. It has to be zu den.

That being said, you can say zum Markt, zum Park, zum Schlafzimmer, zur Stadt. But that implies that you don't actually enter that place, you just go next to it. Those Google sentences are the correct ones for entering.

It's best to learn "place nouns" along with prepositions. In German you go into a city, into a park, onto a market, into a room.


But on wiki and all other sites, zur/zum/zun are used to say u are going to a place.. and then obviously arriving at/ entering it.. like look at the usage notes on this page


In fact, according to the article, this word specifically suggests that u reach the destination, unlike nach.

Plus zun exists... its on wiktionary's article on zu.. please take a look...



Zun is marked as obsolete or dialectical.


Zun does not exist, i am german, and i never even heard of it. It i WRONG. So so wong silently weeping


Ok. Thank you for the link.


Lol ok Himmelsfisch. It just gets so confusing when books say something and natives say something else. But luckily in this case thwain showed me the link where zun is marked as obsolete anyway :)

Edit i just saw your comment on German help. Dunno if uv read mine or not. But to be sure ill repeat. I am not mr falak either. Its important that people dont call me that lol.


I am also a native German and I am some more decades old. I´ve never seen, heard or spoken "zun" in my whole life. But if Germans speak very fast or not clear "zu den" may nearly sound like "zun" or better "zu´n", but this is not clearly spoken German and definitively nothing, we learn at school.


Oh thank you Mrs Himmelsfisch for telling me this last piece of info. Ok so zur doesnt even work with supermarkt or fitness centre. I was like really really confused. Cux you do happen do go into these places as well.


i understand Mrs Falak :) Foreign languages tend to be confusing. Have a nice day!


it is indeed on the English Wiktionary, but not on the German one. I don't think it exists, I've never heard it + it sounds weird. Maybe as a colloquialism, but definitely not in written language.

And again, you can say "Ich gehe zur Stadt", it's correct, but it doesn't sound natural to a native speaker. It makes it sound like you are actively avoiding the word "in".


Ok.. well at this stage I only need my sentences to be grammatically correct cux they can obviously not be perfect while i know only 30 days' worth of german and some 300 words in total.


Yes, but still pay attention to these prepositions. These examples are some easy ones and it doesn't make a big difference wether you use zu. But there are many other cases where zu doesn't work and you have to use the appropriate preposition.


Prepositions are just hard to fully grasp, in any language. It's not that people don't like to say zu, but IMO people are just used to saying in or auf when appropriate. This might just be my personal impression, and again, in cases like the ones you posted here, it doesn't really matter much. Lots of people probably say "zum Park", it's kind of personal and regional preference. If you want to know if something sounds weird or not, there aren't really any clear rules on this (because prepositions are often arbitrary like that), but don't worry too much about it. You'll eventually know the right preposition from context, and if you use a different one, it often doesn't matter.

But don't use zun


K.. thanks anyway :)


When do you use auf and ins and the rest? Why dont natives like to say zur? And if its grammatically correct, why doesnt it sound ok? I see it used with supermarkt, fitness centre, schloss, etc. (zum). So how do I know when its not gonna sound right?


Lol ok i wont use zun


You can go zum supermarkt (better: in den supermarkt), zur eisbahn, zum markt, zum fitnesscenter... It is quite common. In written language, it is bad style, but it is ok to say it. Written down you should go in den supermarkt, in die eisbahn, wherever. You use zum/zur only in writing, when you intend to wait for someone. Wir treffen uns um drei Uhr, also gehe ich zur eisbahn und warte dort auf dich. We meet at three o'clock, so i will go to the skate rink and wait for you there.


I wouldn´t say, that "zum Supermarkt gehen" is better than saying "in den Supermarkt gehen". I myself say "Ich gehe (jetzt) zum Supermarkt." although I know, that I will enter the department store. It sounds more clear for me, because it may be an info for my wife, where I want to go. If I were in front of a department store, then I would say "Ich gehe jetzt in den Supermarkt."

"Zum" (zu dem) and "zur" (zu der) are directions, "in" and "auf" are more specialized.

I´ve learned in school "Man geht nach einem Ort, aber zu einer Person", in which "person" may also be a special named place. Examples:

  • "Ich gehe (or better fahre) nach Bremen."
  • "Ich gehe zu Michaela."
  • "Ich gehe zu HM." (although "HM" is rather a place than a person, but it is a special named place).
  • "Ich gehe zu den Kindern." ("Kinder" are persons, so I have to go

Regarding your examples:

This is only my "Sprachgefühl", feeling for my language. Often there are different ways to express things.

"Sie geht auf den Markt"/"Sie geht zum Markt" are both correct and common. But I would say "...auf den" here, if I want to buy something there. If I only want to go into the direction or I only want to spend some time there, without buying vegetables ore something like that, I would use "...zum"

Nearly the same for "Ich gehe in den Park"/"Ich gehe zum Park". If I want to walk or something like that there, I would say, "...in den", but if I still do not know, what I want to do there, I would rather say "..zum Park".

But for "in die Stadt" it is a bit different: I wouldn´t say "Zur Stadt gehen." Although it may be a correct German sentence, it sounds weird and is not common, I think. But please don´t ask me why. :-) Also here: If Germans speak less clear or very fast, it may sound like *"inne" - "Ich geh´ jetz´ inne Stadt." * But we wouldn´t write it in this way :-)

As someone mentioned before, in case of "Schlafzimmer", I would rather use "in das" or "ins". "Zum Schlafzimmer gehen" sounds a bit weird for me. It´s not wrong, but not commonly used.

But I think, there may be simply differences between the regional German dialects (first is the language and they are not correct or wrong. The rules only want to desribe the language. But language "lives" and changes and so the rules have to be adapted to this changes from time to time).


hi inuzuka shino: from which german region are you? Because in bavaria/franconia no one would say wir gehen inne stadt even when speaking informally and very very fast. everything other: yes, you are right, but i do not think its easier for our non native speaking friends. I needed years to geht to the stadium of recognizing unusual or very specific patterns in speech in english, or very specific meanings. just saying.


I am from the counter part ;-) so, northern Germany, and you can indeed hear it here. It may not be spoken really 'inne', perhaps a bit more 'in()de', but it sounds more like 'inne'., because the 'd' is not pronounced clearly ("verschluckt", du verstehst?). There are definitively and partly very big differences in grammar and pronuciation of the spoken language in the different parts of Germany (and there are many of them).

But I agree with you, that it is very difficult to choose the correct patterns in any new foreign language (actually I am fighting my way through Polish - for me the hardest language I´ve learnt).

And my remarks were only meant as informational. As I mentioned: There is rarely something really wrong and there are not rules for everything we speak, because languages live and change over time by the speakers and the rules will be constructed afterwards to get a standardized system for describing and learning the languages. That´s one reason, why native speakers often can´t explain, why they say something in a specific way (me too).

One of the things, one can do to learn these pattern is, to listen to native speakers of the desired language as often as one can. After a while, one get used to more and more of these patterns, so that one would naturally choose them by himself.

And that is one of the underlying reasons for the way, many modern language teaching methods teach languages (also Duolingo). Learn vocabs in a certain context, in a sentence and recap them very often till your brain assimilated them, instead of learning long lists with single vocabs. After a while one will choose the commonly used patterns naturally.

That´s why one can learn a foreign language often better, if one live in a country, where the desired language is actually spoken.


I hear you inusukaShino. I am learning Irish, its a pain in the behind.;) Yea, i thought so. What you wrote in German sounded unfamiliar, what (for me) means its kinda "up there" in the northern part of germany. The easiest way to hear patterns of speech is reading and watching movies. I love movies! That, and having a native speaking language mentor. Because i have none, i have a great excuse watching tv;) (if you can obtain movies in the other languages).


Yes, indeed. I've recently discovered netflix for this. There you can change the audio and the subtitles independendly and often there are a lot of languages available.


Oh no, another reason for buying netflix. i' runnig out of excuses not to buy it;) Thank you, i didn't know you could do that. So seems like i "have" to order it now;) Right now i'm using youtube and dvds for spanish.



hi inuzuka shino: from which german region are you? Because in bavaria/franconia no one would say wir gehen inne stadt even when speaking informally and very very fast. everything other: yes, you are right, but i do not think its easier for our non native speaking friends. I needed years to geht to the stadium of recognizing unusual or very specific patterns in speech in english, or very specific meanings. just saying.

Another example: Recently I saw on netflix the documentation "Die Nordsee von oben". A very beautiful and interesting movie about my home area.

The speaker has a nothern German dialekt and he speaks many words differently than the standardized "Hochdeutsch" or the dialekts from southern Germany.

In one scene, he said something like "Ja, dat isser!" (If I remeber right, it is the scene, where you can see the beacon, which is shown in the 'Jever' tv commercial).

In standardized Hochdeutsch this should be "Ja, das ist er." But we connect "ist er" to "isser". It is common to connect certain word combination to one here. And there are also many words, that are only said in northern Germany.

If you want to hear German spoken in sligthely northern Dialekt, you should watch this documentation. It may be interesting for you, to here, how far this German is from the southern German dialekts.


Hi, @inozuka shino: HimmelsFISCH, nicht reich. So religiös bin ich nicht. öhm, ich hab ne menge norddeutscher freunde und habe in meiner kindheit oft auf den nordfriesischen inseln geurlaubt und ausserdem meinen teil ottofilmchen geguckt. Ich verstehe auch ein bisschen platt. Ich selber spreche übrigens auch kein bayrisch, oder fränkisch, ich bin Kind preußisch-deutscher eltern und habe keinen dialekt. ich vergurke gern fränngisch, aber mehr aus spaß. Ist lieb von dir, aber nen deutschdialektkurs brauch ich persönlich jetzt nicht. oh, w could maintain speaking english, of course, so other learners could understand better, but well... I will be answering in whatever language you choose. And yes, we southern germans also know about: das isser! or kiick mal? or whatever bending and stretching German allows;)

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