Prepositions

K10

 

  

Words like the following are called prepositions.

 

für, mit, an, von, in, wegen, zu, statt, ohne, bis

 

 

Prepositions are non-inflected words that usually accompany other words in order to express a temporal, causal, modal or spatial relationship between two facts.

 

Examples  
Der Zug fährt um 8 Uhr ab. temporal
Er ist aus beruflichen Gründen auf Reisen. causal
Paul ist zu Fuß zur Arbeit gegangen. modal
Das Buch liegt auf dem Nachttisch. spatial

 

 

Prepositions are combined with a noun or a pronoun -more seldom with an adverb- thus creating a prepositional phrase.

 

Examples  
Ich wohne mit meiner Freundin. + noun
Ich wohne mit ihr. + pronoun
Ich wohne ab heute mit meiner Freundin. + adverb

 

 

In the German language, prepositions usually precede the word with which they are combined. However, there are certain prepositions that can either precede or follow the word with which they are combined, others that only follow and finally, others that stand both before and after the word with which they are combined.

 

Examples  
auf der Straße before the word they are combined with
gegenüber dem Rathaus before or after the word they are combined with
dem Rathaus gegenüber
der Wahrheit zuliebe after the word they are combined with
um seiner selbst willen The word they are combined with is placed in-between the prepositions

 

 

Prepositions determine the case of the noun or the pronoun they accompany. There are prepositions that govern only one case and others that govern two.

 

Examples  
für meine Mutter accusative
mit meiner Mutter dative
trotz meines Willens genitive
auf dem Tisch accusative or dative
auf den Tisch

 

 

Prepositions that govern two cases have a different meaning, depending on the case they govern.

 

Examples  
Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch. accusative
Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch. dative

 

 

The use of prepositions or prepositional phrases can be either free or bound. Free use refers to prepositional phrases that function as adverbials; bound use refers to prepositional phrases that function as objects and depend on a verb, an adjective or a noun.

 

Examples  
der Mann ohne Namen free use
im Wald spazieren gehen
auf den Bus warten bound use
mit der Leistung zufrieden sein
die Angst vor der Dunkelheit

 

In conclusion, some prepositions can be combined with certain forms of the definite article.

 

Examples  
in + dem im merged forms
von + dem vom
zu + der zur