Haus vs. Hause


I speak little German but was wondering...warum muss man sagen "ich gehe nach Hause", aber wir sagen "das ist ein Haus"?? Warum die gegeneteil zwischen "Hause" und "Haus"--forgive the mistakes, ich spreche besser Französisch

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  • Kurtchen

    Senior Member
    German - Norddeutschland
    i speak little german but was wondering...warum muss man sagen "ich gehe nach hause" aber wir sagen "das ist ein haus"?? warum die gegeneteil zwishchen "hause" und "haus"--forgive the mistakes, ich spreche besser franzosich


    nach (dem) Hause --> prepostion nach governs the dative case meaning 'where(to)'


    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    nach Haus oder nach Hau|se, österr., schweiz. auch nach|hau|se

    zu Haus, zu Hau|se
    österreichisch u. schweizerisch auch zu|hau|se
    sich wie zu Hause fühlen; etwas für zu Hause mitnehmen; ich freue mich auf zu Hause

    © Duden - Die deutsche Rechtschreibung, 22. Aufl. Mannheim 2000 [CD-ROM].


    Senior Member
    Austrian German
    Nach Hause is a faded metaphor. This means, that it's actual meaning (to the house) has faded and turned into the more general "home" ,as in I'm going home, no matter whether you live in a house, in an appartment or under the bridge. Therefore the expression didn't undergo the metamorphosis to modern grammar, in which the today obsolete dative -e disappeared.


    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I think skopro is referring to the inflection on Hause. This is an old dative inflection that has basically gone out of style but nonetheless remains with certain words or expressions. Since nach Hause is so common, the -e has stayed.

    But for most words and constructions, you don't add that -e anymore, like am Tag vs. am Tage. I think it would sound very antiquated.


    Senior Member
    "Nach Hause" is a fixed form now. (I do not build the dative using a rule, the idiom is in my brain in my internal dictionary of phrases.) While the dative of "Haus" is mostly "Haus" and in optionally "Hause" (both "in dem Haus" and "in dem Hause" is valid, the version with "e" sounds more poeticall), "nach Hause" and "zu Hause" exist only in this form.

    As you saw in earlier answers, "nach Hause" and "zu Hause" can also be written as one word. In this case it loses the dative reference fully.