While Wir gehen zur Schule / zur Schule gehen does also have the meaning of that you're on the way to school by foot it's also used as a fixed phrase with the meaning of we are pupils. Just like the English translation in this context walking to school wouldn't be used. However, without further information of the context of this sentence I don't see any reason for your translation being marked incorrect.
From what I remember nach Hause is an exception.
For example auf jemanden (acc.) zugehen means to approach
„Wir gehen auf die Schule zu.“
zugehen can also mean that something is closing (synonym to the reflexive sich schließen) or that it can be closed (i.e. there are no large objects that would prevent something from being closed)
In the context of this sentence, zugehen wouldn't be applicable.
You have to know the grammatical gender of the dative object.
If the object is feminine, you use "zur".
- "die Schule" -> "zur Schule" (school)
- "die Bank" -> "zur Bank" (bank)
- "die Tasche" -> "zur Tasche" (bag)
If the object is masculine or neuter, you use "zum".
- "der Hund" -> "zum Hund" (dog)
- "der Baum" -> "zum Baum" (tree)
"der Wald" -> "zum Wald" (forest/wood)
"das Pferd" -> "zum Pferd" (horse)
- "das Auto" -> "zum Auto" (car)
- "das Meer" -> "zum Meer" (sea)
To the tune of Frere Jacques. (dative prepositions)
Aus bei mit nach (2x)
Seit von zu (2x)
Immer mit dem Dativ (2x)
dem der den (2x)
Once one learns, one never forgets. If it's not plural, there's a 66% chance it's dem (zum) or if the noun ends in 'e' it's most likely der (zur). ;-)
In general this is what I know Nach to a country or city Zu to anywhere else
Here are more details http://germanisapieceofcake.blogspot.com/2012/04/zu-and-nach.html?m=1
Hello, it's a bit late in reply, but from what I understand things are accusative when they receive an action directly, and dative when they indirectly receive an action.
I'm not 100% sure, but in this sentence the 'action' is the going part (i.e. we are going to) but because the school isn't actually doing anything, it's only indirectly receiving the action (it is being gone to, if you see what I mean) and so is in the dative case.
Hopefully you can understand what I mean, I don't know if I've explained it clearly :)
It just is. Like gendered nouns, there's no 'reason' for them to be what gender they are. It's just one of the many grammar rules you need to accept and remember :)
Since "die Schule" is feminine, it only becomes "Schulen" in plural.
- "Die Schule ist schön." (singular)
- "Die Schulen sind schön." (plural)
- "Der Schule Dach ist kaputt." (singular)
- "Der Schulen Dächer sind kaputt." (plural)
- "Der Schule wird Geld gespendet." (singular)
- "Den Schulen wird Geld gespendet." (plural)
- "Die Schule mag ich." (singular)
- "Die Schulen mag ich." (plural)
So, this guy doesn't say the 'e' at the end of Schule either normal or slow. Is that the right way to say it, or is it "another' right way to say it? All my life I've always heard it pronounced 'shooleh', not shool (oo like in moon). I mean I'm so used to German now, I could say I've always heard it pronounced "schüle", though it's not spelled with an umlaut.
In English, the definite article is not used in this phrase unless the speaker is talking about a specific school. I think the equivalent in German would be "Wir gehen zu der Schule" (when you don't contract the article and preposition, you add emphasis to the definiteness of the noun).
zur is the contraction of zu + der. So yes, in this sentence with the phrase in dative case (zu is a dative case preposition) the article is also the dative inflection of the feminine article, which is der.
But Schule is a feminine noun, so the nominative inflection is die Schule.
I believe this is more or less correct:
zu (Accusative) - no change for masculine, neuter or feminine nouns.
"Wir gehen zu Schule" = "We are going TO school."
zum (Dative Masc./Neut.) = [zu + dem] for a [Masculine/Neuter Noun].
"Wir gehen zum Bahnhof" = "We are going TO THE train station."
zur (Dative Feminine) = [zu + der] for a [Feminine Noun].
"Wir gehen zur Schule" = "We are going TO THE school."
zu = "to"
zum & zur = "to the"
Prepositions tend to be very idiomatic. There's probably no satisfying answer other than, "That's just the way they say it and you simply have to memorize it."
In general though, I believe "nach" tends to be used with large places like countries or cities rather than buildings or institutions.
I have never heard / read that a student would even express that he is 'enrolled' at a school. Perhaps this is because in Germany we are (lawfully) obliged to attend school and therefore children up to at least 15 years old go to school in any case. If a teenager / young adult is asked what he works, he doesn't answer with the fact that he is enrolled at a school, but with the fact that he is still a student.
Only for students at university is this subtle difference made and one hears students say that although they are enrolled, they don't attend as many lectures at the moment (as they should perhaps). Here they'd say: "Ich bin immatrikuliert." (=I am enrolled.) Presumably because university students actually consciously make the decision to enroll or not.
I hope this answers your question.