Lesson 20. Dative und Accusative Prepositions

In our previous lesson we have covered a complex topic of grammar cases in German. Sometimes it is tough to say when we should use the noun in a particular case but there are certain indicators which would tell you when to use which case. Today we are going to talk about such indicators. In German there are prepositions that are to be used with a particular case. You have to memorize such prepositions and half the problem regarding case use is gone. Today we will talk about those prepositions that are to be used with Dative case and those that always require Accusative case.

Prepositions that are to be used with Dative Case

Here is the list of prepositions that are to be used with Dative Case only, no matter what. They are given in an order that is best to memorize.

Mit, nach, aus, zu, von, bei, seit, außer, entgegen,  gegenüber

In the table you will find English equivalents for these prepositions:

Mit With, by
Nach After, to
Aus From, out of
Zu To, at
Von From, by
Bei At, near
Seit Since, for
Außer Except for, besides
Entgegen Towards, toward
Gegenüber Opposite, across from

Examples of Use:

mit dem Vater = with the father

nach dem Unterricht = after classes

aus der Bibliothek = from the library

zu dem Arzt gehen = to go to the doctor

nicht weit von dem Krankenhaus = not far from the hospital

bei den Eltern = at parents’

seit 2 Jahren = for two years

außer meiner Schwester = except for my sister

Er kommt mir entgegen = He comes towards me

dem Fenster gegenüber = across from the window

Prepositions that are to be used with Accusative Case

These prepositions always require nouns to be in Accusative case:

Durch, für, ohne, um, gegen, wider, bis, entlang

And again in the table below you will find the English equivalents of these prepositions.

durch through, by
für for
ohne without
um around, for, at (for time indication)
gegen against, for
wider against, contrary to
bis* until, to, by
entlang along

*”bis” is often used in pair with another preposition. In this case that second preposition defines the case that the noun should be used in

Examples of Use:

durch den Park = through the park

für den Unterricht = for the classes

ohne Worte = without Words

Die Erde dreht sich um die Sonne = The Earth goes around the sun.

gegen den Plan sein = to be against the plan

wider den Wunsch = against the will

bis morgen = until tomorrow

den Fluss entlang = along the river

Please note that the prepositions entlang und gegenüber are as a rule used AFTER the noun and not before it.

Now, you know all the prepositions that are to be used with only Dative or Accusative case. Next time we are going to cover prepositions that can be used either with Dative or with Accusative case based on a certain condition.

Exercises

Please use the noun in the correct case (Dative or Accusative). Refer to this lesson and lesson 19.

  1. Um ___ Haus herum ist ein großer Garten.
  2. Das ist eine Aufgabe für __________ Vater.
  3. Ich bin gegen ___ Plan.
  4. Ich gehe jeden Tag durch ___ Park.
  5. Ich danke dir für ___ Einladung.
  6. Ich fahre mit ________ Bus.
  7. Er spielt Fußball seit _________Schulzeit.
  8. Ich gehe mit _________ Schwester zu ________ Schule.

Please use the correct preposition in the following sentences

  1. Ich gehe nicht … meinen Bruder.
  2. … dem Frühstück gehen wir spazieren.
  3. Alle sind da … der Mutter.
  4. Die Kinder sitzen … den Lehrer.
  5. Das Buch ist … der Bibliothek.
  6. Alle sind … den Plan.
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3 Responses to Lesson 20. Dative und Accusative Prepositions

  1. Elena… Thanks for a really good set of straightforward introductory lessons for German grammar. I know that vocabulary, etc. are very important in learning any language, but with German I think the grammar and learning much of it early, is an important part of ‘getting’ the language. I’m now at an intermediate level across much of my German learning, but I continually review the grammar, so I appreciate your lessons as a way of revising. Well written. To the point. Do you plan to continue the series and advance into intermediate level material? Regards… Erik

  2. Elena says:

    Hi Erik,

    I am glad you appreciate the efforts put into these lessons. Yes, there are plans to continue the series and eventualy advance into intermediate level but we have to be consistent here and cover most of beginners’ material first. But then, intermediate level is not really that far away already.

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