While teaching online German classes, I often meet students that struggle when it comes to prepositions. They cannot see the wood for the trees and only the thought of choosing “für”, “von” or “nach” causes headaches!  But there is a rescue insight – In this post, you learn how to find the right preposition in German.

Prepositions in German

In my personal opinion, German prepositions are one of the biggest challenges. However, this is not restricted to German but applies to all languages. The reason is that most of the time, they are contradicting within different languages the students already speak and know. Therefore one cannot simply use the same preposition which we use in the first or second language for the same verb.

For example:

In German, we say “glauben an etwas” but in English, it is “believe in something”. Also in German, we say “hoffen auf etwas” while in English it is “hope for something”.


Fixed prepositions in German

However, there is a little trick that can help you to make your life easier. As in most of there languages, there are fixed prepositions that we have to use with a certain verb. In English, we say “I hope for” and the “for” will always stay the same and cannot be changed.  Luckily, we have the same in German.

This means that if you know that “träumen” (to dream) always appears with the preposition “von”, you can quickly start building your sentences with more confidence and focus on other aspects of your message. You simply need to study the verbs together with their fixed prepositions in German.


Advanced German and prepositions

Studying these verbs and their fixed prepositions will assist you in tests and later on in your German studies when you need to transform them as in:

“Ich träume von dem Auto. – Ich träume davon.” (I dream of the car. – I dream of it).


The importance of the right preposition

As a third aspect, choosing the wrong preposition might change the whole meaning of your sentence. As a consequence, it might throw you in tricky situations which could become a little awkward.


The most essential German verbs with fixed prepositions:

German English
antworten auf (Akk) to answer to
anfangen mit (Dat) to start with
aufhören mit (Dat) to stop
beginnen mit (Dat) to start with
berichten über (Akk) to report about
bitten um (Akk) to ask for
danken für (Akk) to thank for
denken an (Akk) to think about
diskutieren mit (Dat) to discuss
entschuldigen für (Akk) to apologize for
s. erinnern an (Akk) to remember
s. erholen von (Dat) to recover from
erzählen von (Dat) to tell about
fragen nach (Dat) ask for
glauben an (Akk) to believe in
gehören zu (Dat) to belong to
helfen bei (Dat) to help with
hoffen auf  (Dat) to hope for
s. informieren über (Akk) to inform
s. interessieren für (Akk) to be interested in
lachen über (Akk) to laugh about
reden über (Akk) to talk about
sprechen über (Akk) to speak about
sprechen mit (Dat) to speak with
telefonieren mit (Dat) to call with
träumen von (Dat) to dream of
nachdenken über (Akk) to think about
s. verabschieden von (Dat) to say goodbye to
verliebt sein in (Akk) to be in love with
warten auf (Akk) to wait for


Now, as you are a pro with the prepositions in German, you can deepen your knowledge by downloading the free worksheet for verbs with fixed prepositions (including answers).


Viel Erfolg und bis bald!



Hi there! Though I provide all blog content for free, your support will be very much appreciated. 🙂 




Leave a Reply