"Der Richter ist auf der Hochzeit."

Translation:The judge is at the wedding.

August 9, 2013

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why "auf" is not "on"?


In English you say "at the wedding", not "on the wedding". There is no one-to-one correspondence between German and English prepositions. You just have to memorize which preposition to use in which situation.


i understand completely, but for future reference, is this a peculiar "fixed" formulation? Since - in my limited knowledge/experience - auf is a bit unusual here, no? Or perhaps not at all... My experience so far is rather of seeing in / an / zu / bei to indicate persons being at 'nonspecific' locations, e.g. at the cinema, at the theatre, at the doctor.... any insight is much appreciated!


No, auf would be the most commonly used here (while bei would be okay too). Don't ask me why "auf", but it's used for "auf der Party/ Feier" or "auf dem Fest/ Festival" too, so it must be a party thing ;)


If i remember well you should use "auf" if the place is open or at least public (even if you have to pay a ticket to enter, like a cinema or a museum)


So can I say that "auf" is used when one attends/goes to an event or an occasion?


Yes. There might be exceptions, but I can't think of any right now, so at least it's a good rule of thumb.


Auf is for:

  1. ending up ON something (auf die Straße/ das Dach/ die Toilette...)

  2. for FORMAL events (auf eine Party/ eine Hochzeit...)

  3. for PUBLIC places (auf die Bank/ auf den Markt...)


thanks, that helps. i'm still very much getting a feel for when and how the different prepositions are used and i had never seen auf used in such a way before this example. -- The party idea will serve as a good point of reference.


Somewhere, I came up with the following observations which I retrieved from my notes. "Auf = AT, to, on, upon." So "AT the wedding" is a possible translation. Further, I have the following rules: 1) Use "auf = to" if ending on something, going to an event or public place (e.g., Straße, Land, Toilette); 2) Use "auf = on" for location on an island. I also have the preposition "an" dfined as "an = about, an, on, to" which is very similar to "auf." But my rules for "an" help to differentiate the two, namely: 1) Use "an = at" for expressing location at or very near something (closer than would be indicated by "bei"); Use "an = to" for motion to a precise spot or to a horizontal or vertical boundary, e.g., a fence, the ocean's edge.

These rules seem to work but their specificity works against them which means that being specific, as the rules are, virtually guarantees that there are situations that the rules do not address. Nevertheless, they are what they are.


der Hochzeit is in Dativ?


Die Hochzeit is in Dative here. The question is why


auf + dative = location; auf + accussative = direction

Since he is at the wedding (not going to a wedding), you use dative.


I love to use this visual for those pesky accusative/dative prepositions. http://www.acampitelli.com/either-or_prepositions.gif


That is so helpful thanks! :D


Rechts, Richter. Was easier to remember :)


They don't go for predictable sentences, do they? :p


No, but if it were predictable we wouldn't need to learn it! Learning is the whole point of Duolingo


How do we know if he is at the wedding or eating at the wedding, please?


er ist = he is
er isst = he eats

If you only hear it spoken, it can be both.


trying to select the correct little preposition, with all their various double meanings, is quite difficult. It would be quite helpful if Duo would include a more narrowly tailored lessen to help us with these.

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