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german prepositions

Hey everybody iam having a german exam after few days so i needed a help with propositions which are kinda complicated....let me talk first about the english preposition to:

Meaning of to in german are nach zu in auf and an.....and the germans focus on the goal of action so:

If i use in as to it means i will end up inside some place as ich gehe ins kino or it can be used with cities as ich gehe in berlin/stadt.

If i use auf as to so i will end up on some place as Ich klettere auf das Dach. (LT: I climb onto the roof.) or it can be used with public places as ich gehe auf die bank or with formal events as Er geht auf eine Hochzeit. (He is going to a wedding.)

An is used when i end up on the side of something as Der Mann lehnt an der Bar).

Question one: it would make sense if i say ich gehe in die bank as i will end up inside the bank but it doesnt make sense on the other hand to say ich gehe auf die bank as i will not end up on the bank so could someone give me an explanation for that?

Question two: how do u interpret ich gehe an die bar.

Question three: we know that nach is used with countries and cities as ich fliege nach london but i see in some books that in can be used with towns and cities as well so does that mean i can say ich gehe in london?

Question four: Der Apfel fällt ins Gras .........can someone give me also an explnation for it .....why did we use "in" here?

Okay let me go to the english preposition for which has six meanings in german : ( für aus zu wegen nach und seit)

Meaning of für:

Stating to whom or what something is intended for: Diese Kekse sind für dich. (These cookies are for you.)

When stating for a quantity: Sie hat diese Handtasche für nur zehn Euro gekauft. (She bought that purse for only ten euros).

When indicating a time span or specific point in time: ich muss für drei Tage nach Bonn reisen. (I must go for three days to Bonn.)

Aus/wegen/zu: when describing the reason why; its purpose Aus irgendeinen Grund, wollte der Junge nicht mehr mitspielen - For some reason, the boy did not want to play with them anymore.

Viele Tiere sterben wegen der Umweltverschmutzung - Many animals die because of Pollution.

Dieses Fahrrad steht nicht mehr zum Verkauf – This bicycle is not for sale anymore.

Nach: towards a physical destination This train is leaving for London- Dieser Zug fährt nach London.

Seit: When describing the duration of time since something has occurred.

Ich habe ihn schon seit langem nicht gesehen. I haven't seen him for a long time!

So the fifth question goes here : what i wrote regarding "für" is correct? Is there other meanings of for in german?

Iam sorry for my complicated and many questions tho i believe many of duo users can help me with that u can pick any question to answer me and rly thanks in advance.

September 22, 2017


  1. Ich gehe in die Bank = I go into the bank (From the outside, to the inside). This is because 'in' is followed by the accusative 'die Bank', as opposed to the dative 'der Bank', which would mean I go inside the bank (literally going around while already inside). You would not use 'auf' here.

Apologies, I'm not advanced enough to answer anything else and if I made any errors, please correct me.

PS - You meant 'prepositions' not 'propositions'.


Ofc i appreciate honest help well as far as i know accusativ means there is a directional movement while using dativ expresses location so saying ich gehe in die bank gotta mean i go to the bank (expressing movement from outside to inside ) while using dativ ich bin in der bank would mean i am in the bank (expressing location) ........well https://www.thegermanz.com/zu-nach-in-most-efficient-preposition-german/ go to this blog and see the auf section..... You gotta see that he used auf with the bank and said in the video that both in and auf work .....the problem here is that i cant find any sense in using auf so hoped someone could give me an explanation of why might use it there..


From the looks of things, the article implies that you use 'auf' if you are going towards or are on your way to the bank, rather than going directly inside it. But a more experienced person will need to confirm for me.


Ty for correcting my preposition xd


I think his using "auf die Bank" is a regional thing. (I've certainly never heard it.)

Similarly, depending on where you are in Germany, you will hear Ich gehe zur Arbeit/ an die Arbeit/auf die Arbeit. -- Ich bin in der Arbeit/an der Arbeit/auf Arbeit.

(Yes, it's "auf Arbeit". The missing article is indeed correct in this particular dialect.)


Sonnrain ......you know the two main meaning of to (as far as I read are zu and nach. And i can interchange in/an/auf with zu at any case. Problem here is finding the special use of auf/an/in that distinguish them from each other. And thats what gonna get me confused . I would say ich gehe in die bank as in means into somewhere But auf also can be used with public places . Many choices.....thus causing confusion. I would say ich gehe an der arbeit since u can use an when u say ur enrolled somewhere Using auf here is gotta be a mistake. Thus to remove the confusion regarding this point ....,,,,we need to search the words' origin so we can understand why auf in the first place can be used with public places and events and so.


Please, have a look at the overview and explanations in this link

German is not my mother tongue, that's why I cannot explain it.

Good luck with your German exam

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