5.1: German Prepositions
German prepositions can only be learned in one way: you have to memorize them. Sometimes in life there is no shortcut to the high road. This happens to be one of those times. Memorize the prepositions, learn them, and you will be much better off! Prepositions come in many different shapes and forms. They deal with travel, people, and gender to name a few.
Learning a second language can be problematic because we already know how to speak one language. We have this idea in our heads of how a language should be conducted. We must step back away for a moment and take a look at what this is all about. Learning German prepositions is absolutely critical if you want to speak the language.
A good example is if you are sick. What do we do when we are sick? We take something for our sickness correct? Well in German, you would take something against your sickness. See the difference here? It is little subtle things like this which make up the whole picture.
English has the object of the preposition; all prepositions are in the same case. German has more and you have to know when to use each preposition. Just like in adjectives, we have the accusative and dative cases with prepositions. Certain German prepositions are ruled by the accusative case. I would suggest you become familiar with these as they are used a lot in German.
We will go over the basics of the accusative prepositions now. First of all, there are two different kinds. There are ones that will always be accusative. Then there are ones that can either be dative or accusative. A couple of the main German accusative prepositions include für, gegen, and durch. In English these mean for, against, and through. A couple of the "two way" prepositions include an, auf, and zwischen. These mean at, on, to, upon, and between.
As I mentioned earlier in this free course, be wary of translations between the languages though. A two way preposition can have more than one English meaning or translation. It is best if you learn the vocabulary, learn the basics of German grammar as I am teaching you, and then practice everything you have learned utilizing the ultimate learn to speak German package, Rocket German.
Now we shall go on towards the dative case. Not too much different here either. Just like in the accusative case. Dative can either be "always dative" or "sometimes dative". The common dative prepositions include aus, außer, bei, mit, von, and zu. The meaning of these in the same order is, from, besides, near, by (or with), from, and to.
I hope this gives you some sort of basic foundation in learning what prepositions are all about. Utilizing the tools given here will make you a better speaker. It will allow you to speak basic conversation, order from restaurants, tell the time, and ask people simple questions. The power of learning German is in your hands. Viel Glück!
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