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.
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:
|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!
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