prepositions with dative or accusative

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eric489

Senior Member
French
Hi all.

I've recently started learning German. I learned the ground grammar knowledge about the dative.
But someone told me that you have to learn a list of which prepositions are followed by dative whereas some other are followed by a noun phrase in the accusative.

I also read somewhere about "postpositions" ( I know entlang is one of them), but I know anymore about that. ( nor whether they are preceded by either dative or accusative)

I came to post this after having unsuccessfuly searched the web after a clear grammar case synthesis.

Hope you guys could clear things out for me.
 
  • brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi there,

    You're right: some prepositions take the dative (zu, mit, nach, etc.), some take the accusative (ohne, für, etc.), and some can take both (auf, an, vor, etc.). [Then you have some that take the genitive, or colloquially the dative, like wegen.]

    You simply have to memorize which preposition takes which case. In terms of prepositions that can take either dative or accusative, the choice usually depends on whether change of position (accusative) is involved or not (dative): Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch = I place the book on the table. vs. Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch = The book is on the table.

    And yes, some prepositions come after the nouns they govern, or are split up (come before & after): Ich wandere am Fluss entlang. But I think German grammar would consider an the preposition here, while entlang is more adverbial.
     
    Last edited:

    eric489

    Senior Member
    French
    Thank you so much all of you for taking the time to reponse this question.

    It's all clearer in my mind now. I just tought ( like many people when starting studying German) that all preposition had the same "value", but all this prouved me wrong.

    I'll just have to read and study carefully all of this and it will surely become automatic once i've done some exercices ( if some of you know some case exercice links, please don't mind posting them ! ).

    And thanks to Frank778 for the extra links. ;)
     
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