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  5. "He goes to kindergarten."

"He goes to kindergarten."

Translation:Er geht in den Kindergarten.

March 7, 2013



Why the definite article? Maybe it's a neuance of English that I don't quite get, but to me "goes to kindergarten" is "goes to a kindergarten".


"Er geht in einen Kindergarten" = He attends a kindergarten - implying that there is a specific kindergarten he goes to.

"Er geht in den Kindergarten" = 1) He goes to kindergarten - talking about "using the kindergarten system", as it were, in the abstract.; 2) He is going to the kindergarten - meaning that he is going to the specific kindergarten that was previously mentioned or is clear from context.


how can one differentiate between 'in' & 'an'?


Translating prepositions is tricky; they're always sort-of-but-not-exactly. So I looked up "goes to kindergarten" on Linguee.com, and read through the examples.


I get that they are different from English, but is there a general rule of when to use what? This is easily proving to be the most difficult part of the language to remember/figure out.

[deactivated user]

    There has already been some discussion here about the word "den", which is needed in German, but not in English if the meaning is, "He attends kindergarten". But how would you say in German, "He goes into the Kindergarten" (referring to an electrician going there to fix a faulty switch, or a parent going to see a member of staff)?


    The same way: Er geht in den Kindergarten.

    Actually, I'd use that for the electrician; for the parent, I'd probably say Sie geht zum Kindergarten as the emphasis is less on the entering the building but visiting the facility (if that makes sense).


    Why not "Er geht nach Kindergarten"?


    Emilie, (I'm not a native speaker) but "nach" is used in this situation normally to go to "a city, a country, or any other named inhabited settlement of region." Zu -- in this case -- is used to travel to a building. see: http://german.stackexchange.com/questions/2540/is-there-a-rule-which-preposition-to-use-for-a-place

    However, one can also say "nach Hause," to go to your house. But when one is at home one can say "Zuhause." Ich bin Zuhause.


    No, it must be "Ich bin zu Hause" or "Ich bin zuhause". (Duden prefers the first one.)

    "Zuhause" with a capital Z is a noun, a home: "Ich habe kein Zuhause", for example.


    Er geht an dem Kindergarten? (For he "generally" goes to kindergarten)


    No. In den Kindergarten. An is the wrong preposition, and you need to use the accusative case because you are giving the direction he is going, not his location. "Generally" doesn't enter into it here, just direction vs. location.


    Why can't you use besucht? i think this would be the actual meaning of the sentence


    Why zum and not zu? He goes to the kindergarten, sounds weird.


    English doesn't use "the" with some places if they are used for their intended function (he goes to school = he goes there to learn / he goes to the school = he simply goes to the building, perhaps to pick someone up).

    Which places these is not completely uniform (e.g. "he goes to hospital" in the UK, usually "he goes to the hospital" in the US).

    Germany doesn't do this, though, and always says (the equivalent of) "he goes to the school; he goes to the kindergarten; he goes to the church; he goes into the hospital; he goes into the prison".


    I know that the context is not the same, but I wonder how we would translate "He walks to the kindergarten (on foot)". Is it "Er [geht zu fuß /lauft ] nach dem Kindergarten" or would one say "Er lauft zum Kindergarten" ...?? Can someone enlighten me here? Thanks previously.

    • Er geht zu Fuß zum Kindergarten.
    • Er geht zum Kindergarten.
    • Er läuft zum Kindergarten.

    could all be used, since gehen implies "on foot" (unlike English "go", which could be by car, for example).

    Using Er läuft for walking is probably more common in the south than in the north - it's more likely to mean "he runs" in the north.


    Das war eine "supersonic" schnelle Antwort. So natürlich vielen Dank!! Wann Sie Niederländisch lehren wollen, Hilfe ich Ihnen auch... ;-) [ I hope I made not too much mistakes.. ]


    Das war eine überschallschnelle Antwort, also natürlich vielen Dank! Wenn Sie Niederländisch lernen wollen, helfe ich Ihnen auch! :)


    Es gibt keine Regeln für die Praepositionen. Ich vermute dass man kann nicht ''er geht auf den Kindergarten'' sagen wie im Fall des Gymnasiums.


    Das hört sich auf jeden Fall für mich sehr lustig an :)

    auf die Uni, aufs Gymnasium, ja, aber nicht auf den Kindergarten.


    According to Duolingo "Sie geht aufs Gymnasium" but "Er geht in den Kindergarten". ("Sie geht ins Gymnasium" and "Er geht auf den Kindergarten" were both rejected.)


    According to Duolingo "Sie geht aufs Gymnasium" but "Er geht in den Kindergarten".

    I agree.


    Why is it not in dem Kindergarten? I thought in always required dative. Or is this not dative?


    I thought in always required dative.

    That's not correct.

    in is one of the two-way prepositions in German that can take either dative or accusative -- dative for describing a location, accusative for describing the destination of motion.

    Here, the kindergarten is not the location of the going; it's the destination. So you need the accusative after in here: in den Kindergarten.


    Oof, I'm going to be slower to use the word in. But at least now I have a rule around it. Thanks.


    There are echoes of this in Scots dialects of English. You might say "she goes to the school" (meaning she is a school pupil) or "he has to go to the hospital" (meaning he is going into hospital).


    'He has to go to the hospital' can be used in Scots as meaning going into hospital in general, without implying a specific hospital is involved. But it would sound odd to me to say 'she goes to the school' and mean that she attends some school or other. More likely it would mean that she attends a specific school, the name of which is understood or under discussion. However this may be different e.g. in those regions of Scotland influenced by Gaelic.

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