Guide to the German prepositions (two-way prepositions included)

To Learn German is easy! Well, have you heard about the German prepositions? These are words that help us to determine the connection between the object and the rest of the sentence, mainly in terms of time and place. We have created an awesome German prepositions list for you!

apple and table
Imagine all the possible ways where you can place an apple near a table. This is how I remember the German two-way prepositions best.

You can also divide the German prepositions by the cases that they take. Some German prepositions take the accusative, dative, or genitive case. Some can even take multiple cases, but you have to decide based on the context of the sentence.

Accusative Prepositions German

I like to think about prepositions like computer viruses. You have your structure with direct and indirect object but suddenly there is a preposition and everything changes. After the accusative prepositions you always use the accusative case.

fürforIch arbeite für das Unternehmen.I work for the company.
gegenagainstDer Mann spielt gegen die Frau.The man plays against the woman.
durchthrough, acrossIch schwimme durch das Wasser.I swim through the water.
ohnewithoutDer Hund spaziert ohne den Besitzer.The dog is walking without the owner.
umat, aroundDie Katze geht um den Tisch.The cat goes around the table.

Dative prepositions German

Always use the dative case after these prepositions. Try the exercise as well.

ausout of, fromIch gehe aus dem Haus.I go out of the house.
beinear, atDu bist bei deiner Schwester.You are at your sister’s.
mitwithDer Hund spielt mit der Katze.The dog is playing with the cat.
nachafter, toNach dem Unterricht werde ich schlafen.After class, I’ll sleep.
seitsince, forSeit den Ferien habe ich zugenommen.I’ve gained weight since the holidays.
vonfrom, ofWir möchten uns von dem Training erholen.We want to recover from the training.
zutoEr hat die Tomaten zum Kochen gekauft.He bought the tomatoes to cook.

Genitive prepositions German (Incomplete list)

aufgrund/auf Grund, wegendue toAufgrund der Ferien gibt es keinen Unterricht.There are no classes due to the holidays.
trotz, ungeachtetdespite, notwithstandingTrotz des Regens gehe ich spazieren.Despite the rain, I go for a walk.
anstelle, an Stelle, stattinstead ofAnstelle eines Hundes hat sie eine Katze gekauft.Instead of a dog, she bought a cat.
nördlichnorth ofNördlich der Stadt gibt es einen See.There is a lake north of the city.
oberhalbabove Ich habe starke Schmerzen oberhalb des Knies.I have severe pain above the knee.

Here is an awesome video about prepositions in German. Absolutely recommendable!

Two-Way Prepositions in German

Learning the German language and the prepositions can be difficult because some prepositions can take either the accusative or the dative case. Here is an easy guide for the two-way prepositions. The accusative prepositions are about movement or change and the dative prepositions about location. You can also ask “where to” for accusative or “where” for the dative.

anon, to
aufon, upon
hinterbehind
inin, into
nebennext to
überover
unterunder
vorbefore, in front of
zwischenbetween

There are more things to learn about the prepositions but these lists should provide you an easy guide for the prepositions in the German language. If you like this explanation and would like to learn more, then please leave your email below to receive more helpful information.

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