Tips and notes


Dative prepositions always trigger the dative case.

Here they are: aus, außer, bei, gegenüber, mit, nach, seit, von, zu


Accusative prepositions always trigger the accusative case.

Here they are: bis, durch, für, gegen, ohne, um


Two-way prepositions take the dative case or the accusative case depending on the context.

If there’s movement from one place to another, use the accusative case.

If there’s no movement or if there’s movement within a certain place, use the dative case.

Here they are: an, auf, entlang, hinter, in, neben, über, unter, vor, zwischen

No movement -> dative:

Ich bin in einem Haus (I am in a house)

Movement within a certain place -> dative:

Ich laufe in einem Wald (I am running in [within] a forest)

Movement from one place to another -> accusative:

Ich gehe in ein Haus (I am walking into a house)


Some prepositions and articles can be contracted.

Source: duolingo


zu Hause means at home, and nach Hause means home (homewards, not at home). The-e at the end of zu Hause and nach Hause is an archaic dative ending, which is no longer used in modern German, but survived in certain fixed expressions.

Ich bin zu Hause (I am at home)

Ich gehe nach Hause (I am walking home)

(Source: Duolingo)


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