Two-Way Prepositions

Wechselpräpositionen

Introduction Einführung
Also called doubtful propositions, the two-way prepositions are those that can be used with either the accusative or dative case.

Prepositions in German determine the grammatical case of the articles and pronouns used with them. This lesson deals with those that take either the accusative or dative case to have slightly different meanings.

When used with the accusative case there is an implied motion, while the dative case suggests a static aspect. For instance with the two sentences below, in with the accusative case translates as “into”, while with the dative case translates simply as “in”:

Acusative
Die Leute gehen in das Gebäude.
The people go into the building.

Dative
Die Leute sind in dem Gebäude.
The people are in the building.

This is the same difference seen with the interrogative pronouns wo (where) and wohin (to where).

There are three other groups of German prepositions:
Vocabulary Wortschatz
Play neben
next to near beside
Play über
over across above about
Play unter
among under
Play vor
ago before in front of
Phrases Redewendungen
Play Ich mache Yoga täglich vor der Arbeit.
I do yoga every morning before work.
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