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  5. "Wir essen am Tisch."

"Wir essen am Tisch."

Translation:We eat at the table.

December 26, 2012



What is the difference between "am" and "bei"?


"am" = an + dem. "an" and "bei" mean at depending on the context. "bei" also means by


Am = an dem. Is used for example like this: I hang the painting "am" the wall. The diference with the english "at" is that you used to refer that something is hanging or adyacent. I guess that there is no exact translation to english. Note: there is no such thing like Ar= an der, so for femenine pronouns you need to use the full dative expression "An der".


When I saw "Wir" and the -en conjugation, I expected the translation to be "We eat"


is this translation correct, shouldn't it be "we" instead of "I"?


Why is the dative used here?


From tips notes (long, but helpful) :

DATIVE PREPOSITIONS always trigger the dative case. Here they are:  aus, außer, bei, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, zu

ACCUSATIVE PREPOSITIONS always trigger the accusative case. Here they are:  bis, durch, für, gegen, ohne, um

TWO-WAY PREPOSITIONS take the dative case or the accusative case depending on the context. If there's movement from one place to another, use the accusative case.

If there's no movement or if there's movement within a certain place, use the dative case. Here they are:  an, auf, entlang, hinter, in, neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen

No movement - dative: Ich bin in einem Haus (I am in a house)

Movement within a certain place - dative: Ich laufe in einem Wald (I am running in [within] a forest)

Movement from one place to another - accusative: Ich gehe in ein Haus (I am walking into a house)

CONTRACTIONS Some prepositions and articles can be contracted. an + das= ans an + dem= am auf + das= aufs bei + dem= beim in + das= ins in + dem= im hinter + das= hinters über + das=übers unter + das=unters von + dem=vom vor + das=vors zu + dem=zum zu + der=zur

ZU HAUSE AND NACH HAUSE zu Hause means at home, and nach Hause means home (homewards, not at home). The-e at the end of zu Hause and nach Hause is an archaic dative ending, which is no longer used in modern German, but survived in certain fixed expressions. Ich bin zu Hause (I am at home) Ich gehe nach Hause (I am walking home)

This information really helped me.


The tips are really helpful, but they didn't have them when I wrote that question :)


It's a shame so many Duolingo users can't see the tips and notes. I wonder if there is a place to post them where eveyone could see them?


I recommend the BBC Bitesize website as it includes suggested mnemonics for memorising the prepositions - and the postpositions. (I never even knew there was such a grammatical term as "postpositions" until mizinamo introduced us to it below. Trust German!)


This is a great explanation, but I suspect there might be an error. I found other sources that put 'entlang' as an accusative preposition. Also, one could add 'wider' to the list. I copied this for my own notes but with the following changes:

ACCUSATIVE PREPOSITIONS always trigger the accusative case. Here they are: bis, durch, entlang, für, gegen, ohne, um, wider

And one could add 'ab' and 'entgegen' to the dative preposition list '. So here it is with my additions:

DATIVE PREPOSITIONS always trigger the dative case. Here they are: ab, aus, außer, bei, entgegen, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, zu


ACCUSATIVE PREPOSITIONS always trigger the accusative case. Here they are: bis, durch, entlang, für, gegen, ohne, um, wider

entlang takes the genitive case when it's a preposition (entlang des Weges) indicating the location of something.

It takes the accusative case when it's a postposition (den Weg entlang) indicating the route that someone or something follows.


Coz there's no location change; if there is one you will need the Akkusative


Because as a rule the german preposition 'am' demands dative case. Because "we are eating AT (asks for dative) the table" . There are a bunch of prepositions that are followed by dative case


can we say "Wir essen beim Tisch"?, I think it's more reasonable.


My German girlfriend tells me that would mean "we are eating relatively close to the table"


No I can't explain why, but I can tell you in general beim is used more to say I eat at someones house. Ie. Ich esse bei doris. I eat at doris's house. This is just what I've noticed


"Wir essen auf dem Tisch"?


Most people sit around the table or at the table.

If you happen to sit on top of the table while you eat, you could use your version....


Is it possible to use "bei" or "auf" in this situation? Is there a reason why "an" is used here?


Since I can't hear the difference between "an" and "am" and both "We eat at the table" and "We eat on the table" could be correct, I think either "an" or "am" should be counted as correct. . . . Or they should give us the written form to translate first so we know which one they want.


I wrote "We're eating at table", which is perfectly acceptable in UK English, but it was marked as incorrect, because Duo considers I should have included "the" before "table". Don't understand why!

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