Sunday, October 20, 2019

How to Use In, An or Auf Properly

How to Use In, An or Auf Properly Although German is a straightforward language once you learn the rules, you cant always directly translate every word from English. In fact, the more you study some words, the more confusing they may become. Three German prepositions, in particular, can be tricky for beginners: in, an and auf.   What Is a Preposition? A preposition is a word that is typically paired with a noun (or pronoun, like he or she) that helps you understand that words relationship to another part of the sentence. For example, prepositions can refer to the nouns position in space or time. Like put your feet  under  the table, or go shopping  after  class. But many English prepositions have different meanings. Under can be below, but it can also mean less than. Some prepositions are colloquial or you just have to memorize them, like get down with.   The same goes for German. You can memorize the meanings of the prepositions, but not all will be a direct translation of the English counterpart.   These are all two-way prepositions, meaning the noun/pronoun that follows this  preposition  will be conjugated in the accusative (if it is used to express motion/action, like I walk into the store) or dative (if it is used to express a location or position, like I stand in the street). In English, the preposition does not change the noun/pronoun it precedes.   In Means: in, into, to Examples: Ich stehe in der Straße. (I stand in the street.) Die Frau ist in der Universitt. (The woman is in the university, as in she is physically inside the university building. If you want to say you are enrolled in the university, you say, an der  Universitt, as in at the university. See below.)   An Means: at, to, up next to   Examples: Ich sitze an dem Tisch. (I am sitting at the table.) Die Frau ist  an der  Tankstelle. (The woman is at the gas station, as in she is literally standing up next to the vertical gas pump. It can be helpful to think about a side-by-side, vertical encounter to remember when to use an as in up next to.)   Auf Means: on, on top of Examples: Die Backerei ist auf der Hauptstraße. (The bakery is on the main street.) Die Frau ist  auf  der Bank. (The woman is on the bench, as in she is literally sitting on top of the horizontal bench. A horizontal encounter is often key for auf.)   Other Considerations Some verbs come standard with a preposition. Think about hang out or hang up in English; the preposition is an important component of the verb that actually changes the meaning of it.

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