Tag Archives: prepositions

Talking about the past in German: seit vs. vor

Dealing with the past in German often leads to long and deep conversations. Fortunately, this blog is not meant to be political or historical, so I will keep me post short. I want to look at the prepositions vor and seit, when used in time expressions. German and English speakers don’t talk about the past […]

“Zu” is more than a just a preposition — Using zu-constructions

In one of my lessons this week a student asked me about the word “zu”. She knew that zu is a dative preposition and that it means to in English. I was very happy to hear that those facts about zu had stayed with my student. But then I had to give her a little […]

Prepositions Part 4: Don’t Fear the Genitive

One of the things I often have to reiterate in my German lessons is that students need to take German in small chunks. Learn the basics and learn them well and take a lot of the language as it’s given to them. Coming from English this is difficult for many as English is a fairly […]

Prepositions Part 3: Two-Way Prepositions

So for the past two weeks we’ve been learning our accusative and dative preposition. We’ve made up rhymes and sing them to waltzes and we feel confident. What are the most important ones? Right! We’ve moved. You’ll find the full article here: http://marathonsprachen.com/prepositions-part-3-two-way-prepositions/

bis durch für ohne gegen um entlang

Prepositions Part 1: The Accusative 7

If there was a villain in languages it would be prepositions. These are tricky things that if you look them up in a dictionary you’ll get dozens of usages and then all the colloquial expressions which use them in different manners. On top of that depending on region the same language might use different prepositions: […]

Bleib dran: da-compounds

English speakers often haver to crack a smile when listening to German and hearing the word “damit” which sounds like a curse in English. However, the smiles quickly change to faces of confusion when a flurry of “dran“, “drauf“, “davon” etc come at them and they aren’t quite sure what to make of them. Then […]

Tricky, tricky — nach vs. zu

One feature of language that will cause most anyone grief is prepositions. Why are prepositions so difficult? Well it is perhaps because they are used in so many ways with different meanings and also used differently in different dialects, pretty much irregardless of language. Two somewhat troubling prepositions in German for suggesting direction towards something […]