"We are waiting for the bus."

Translation:Wir warten auf den Bus.

June 29, 2018

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Shouldn't this be "Wir warten auf dem Bus"? We're waiting, so there's no motion to trigger accusative...so shouldn't it be dative?


Wir warten auf dem Bus. = We are waiting on top of the bus.


Well, you learn something new every day. Thanks.


Think of the waiting in the original sentence as a "directed waiting": Your waiting is direct towards an object / goal / ..., and as you know, German uses with two-way prepositions the accusative for direction. Hence: Ich warte auf dich and not ... dir.


That helps. Thanks.


In general, whenever a positional preposition isn't literally or metaphorically referring to a place (i.e. when it's used idiomatically), it takes the accusative. You're not literally waiting ‘on’ the bus, ‘auf’ is just the preposition ‘warten’ requires, so you use accusative. In the same way, you're not literally proud ‘on’ her (‘stolz auf sie’), remembering ‘at’ him (‘du erinnerst dich an ihn’), or thinking ‘at’ me (‘du denkst an mich’), so you use the accusative.


Would it be incorrect or odd to say für instead of auf in this case?


It would be incorrect. The construction for “waiting for something/someone” in German is “auf etwas/jemanden warten”. After all, the choice of preposition is pretty arbitrary in both languages. In Italian, for example, the verb for waiting is simply transitive, taking a direct object, like “to await”.


why isnt it das bus

[deactivated user]

    Bus is masculine, and it's in the accusative case, so it's "den Bus"


    isn't warten reflexive, so it shoukd be "Wir warten uns auf den Bus."


    Nope, ‘warten’ isn't reflexive.

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