Languages › German German Prepositions That Take the Accusative Case There are two kinds of accusative prepositions Share Flipboard Email Print Daniel Vine Garcia/Getty Images German Grammar History & Culture Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary By Michael Schmitz German Language Expert M.A., German as a Foreign Language, Technical University of Berlin M.A., Turkology Humanities, Freie Universität of Berlin Michael Schmitz is the author of How to Learn German Faster and the creator of smarterGerman, an online language learning program. our editorial process Michael Schmitz Updated February 27, 2020 In German, prepositions can be followed by nouns in various cases. An accusative preposition will always be followed by an object (a noun or pronoun) in the accusative case. Types of Accusative Prepositions There are two kinds of accusative prepositions: Those that are always accusative and never anything else.Certain two-way prepositions which are either accusative or dative, depending on how they are used. The chart below outlines a complete list of each type. Luckily, you'll need only to commit five accusative prepositions to memory. Further making these prepositions easier to learn by rote: only the masculine gender (der) changes in the accusative case. The plural, feminine (die) and neuter (das) genders don't change in the accusative. In the German-English examples below, the accusative preposition is in bold. The object of the preposition is italicized. Ohne Geld geht's nicht. ( Without money it won't work.)Sie geht den Fluss entlang. (She is walking along the river.)Er arbeitet für eine große Firma. (He works for a big company.)Wir fahren durch die Stadt. (We're driving through the city.)Schreibst du einen Brief an deinen Vater? (Are you writing a letter to your father?) Notice in the second example above that the object (Fluss) comes before the preposition (entlang). Some German prepositions use this reverse word order, but the object must still be in the correct case. What Are the Accusative Preposition in German? Accusative-only prepositions and their English translations: Deutsch Englisch bis* until, to, by durch through, by entlang** along, down für for gegen against, for ohne without um around, for, at (time) *Note: The German preposition bis is technically an accusative preposition, but it is almost always used with a second preposition (bis zu, bis auf) in a different case, or without an article (bis April, bis Montag, bis Bonn). **Note: The accusative preposition entlang usually goes after its object. Two-Way Prepositions: Accusative/Dative The meaning of a two-way preposition often changes based on whether it is used with the accusative or dative case. See below for the grammar rules. Deutsch Englisch an at, on, to auf at, to, on, upon hinter behind in in, into neben beside, near, next to über about, above, across, over unter under, among vor in front of, before,ago (time) zwischen between The Rules of Two-Way Prepositions The basic rule for determining whether a two-way preposition should have an object in the accusative or dative case is motion versus location. Motion toward something or to a specific location (wohin?) typically requires an accusative object. If there is no motion at all or random motion going nowhere in particular (wo?), then the object is usually dative. This rule applies only to the so-called 'two-way' or 'dual' German prepositions. For example, a dative-only preposition such as nach is always dative, whether motion takes place or not. Two sets of examples showing motion versus location: Accusative: Wir gehen ins Kino. (We're going to the movies.) There is a movement toward a destination -- in this case, the movie theater. Dative: Wir sind im Kino. (We're at the movies/cinema.) We are already at the movie theater; not traveling toward it. Accusative: Legen Sie das Buch auf den Tisch. (Put/Lay the book on the table.) The motion is the placement of the book toward the table.Dative: Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch. (The book's lying on the table.) The book is already at its destination and not moving. Accusative Preposition Chart With Examples Accusative Prepositions Präpositionen Beispiele - Examples durch: through, by durch die Stadt through the citydurch den Wald through the forestdurch den Wind (caused) by the wind entlang*: along, down die Straße entlang down the streetden Fluss entlang along the riverGehen Sie diesen Weg entlang. Go down this path. für: for für das Buch for the bookfür ihn for himfür mich for me gegen: against, for gegen alle Erwartungen against all expectationsgegen die Mauer against the wallgegen Kopfschmerzen (medicine) for a headachegegen mich against me ohne: without ohne den Wagen without the carohne ihn without himohne mich without me (count me out) um: around, for, at um den See around the lakeum eine Stelle (apply) for a jobEr bewirbt sich um eine Stelle. He's applying for a position.um zehn Uhr at 10 o'clock *Note: Remember, entlang usually goes follows its object, as above. Personal Pronouns in the Accusative NOMINATIVE ACCUSATIVE ich: I mich: me du: you (familiar) dich: you er: hesie: shees: it ihn: himsie: heres: it wir: we uns: us ihr: you (guys) euch: you (guys) sie: they sie: them Sie: you (formal) Sie: you (formal) Da- Compounds All of the accusative prepositions except "entlang," "ohne" and "bis" form what are called "da- compounds" to express what would be a prepositional phrase in English. Da- compounds are not used for people (personal pronouns). Prepositions beginning with a vowel add a connecting r. See the examples below. THING PERSON dadurch: through it, by it durch ihn/sie: through him/her dafür: for it für ihn/sie: for him/her dagegen: against it gegen ihn/sie: against him/her darum: for that reason um ihn/sie: around him/her Idioms and Other Considerations A single German two-way preposition, such as in or auf, may have more than one English translation, as you can see above. In addition, you'll find many of these prepositions have yet another meaning in common everyday idioms and expressions. Examples: auf dem Lande (in the country), um drei Uhr (at three o'clock), unter uns (among us), am Mittwoch (on Wednesday), vor einer Woche (a week ago). Such expressions can be learned as vocabulary without worrying about the grammar involved. How Do You Use Dative Prepositions in German? What Are the Four Noun Cases of German? The Common German Verbs Always Take the Dative Case Learning the Concept of Give and Take in German How to Say the Months, Dates, Seasons, and Days in German How Do You Use Dual Prepositions in German? An Introduction to German Prepositions Common Prepositional Pitfalls in German (and How to Avoid Them) Learning the German Parts of the Body Using the Dative Reflexive Rules for Capitalization in German What's the Difference Between In, An and Auf in German? 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