https://www.duolingo.com/HA.30

No city's gender in German?HOW?

Hi friends!

I'm learning cities in German and I wonder why they don't have genders?

At first, I thought there's no need, but then I found problems with dative prepositions. They are supposed to change in order to match the dative word, aren't they? Something like: zu+dem=zum ( wir rennen zum garten)

So what should we say for cities? Aren't many dative prepositions like this? And do the cities never need genders? For example: tower of London. What should we say?

Help me, please. thanks!

September 27, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145
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Generally, towns don't have articles in German.

Ich lebe gern in Hannover. (dative) München ist eine wunderschöne Stadt. (nominative)

So there is no article "der" or "das" that could be combined to form "zum" in the dative form.

If you talk about a town in a particular age, though, it gets the article "das":

Das Berlin der zwanziger Jahre. Das antike Rom.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JensBu
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Also note: Welches Rothenburg meinst du? Ich meine das Rothenburg an der Wümme. Welches Frankfurt? (Das) Frankfurt an der Oder. It's rarely used with article though. There are many cities that exist more than once. Das ... in Bayern. Das ... an der Grenze. And so on is possible.

nach with cities and countries. zu for stores like in zu Lidl, zu Aldi, zu Edeka. And zu for Personen. No article is used here. For places like monuments you use zum Denkmal, zur Statue and so on.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HA.30

Thanks! I got it :)

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob20020
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Good question.

With nouns and countries that have articles, you use von + dem/r, zu + m/r, in der/die/das. Wir fahren in die Schweiz.

But with cities and countries with no articles, you use aus and nach. Wir fahren nach Deutschland.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/judith458282
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Well, the TOWER of London will have a gender, because the tower is a noun ... der Turm von London. Wir rennen zum Turm von London. Wir rennen nach London.

And generically, a town is der Stadt, of course. Not sure if/why an individual town/city would need a gender.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HA.30

Thanks, but why not vom london?

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/judith458282
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Because it is not from THE London. vom = von dem ("the" as the dative of der/das)

Nach is the correct preposition, I believe, too.

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HA.30

Thank you! I noticed now :)

September 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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zu to zum is not a change to zu -- it's just a combination of zu and the dative article dem.

So you only need zum if you need an article.

It's perfectly fine to use prepositions without an article, in contexts where the noun does not require an article.

September 28, 2017
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