Wenn ich in die Stadt gehe, trinke ich etwas im Café Kranzl.

Englishstudent03

Senior Member
Italian-Italy
Good evening, I've got a problem with the following sentence: " Wenn ich in die Stadt gehe, trinke ich etwas im Café Kranzl. " Why did they use "in die Stadt"? Stadt is not a closed place; in my opinion, they should've used "auf". What do you think? Thank you for your help!
 
  • JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    I can't imagine where the idea "auf die Stadt" could come from!?
    "in die/ der Stadt" :thumbsup:
    "auf die/ der Stadt" :confused: make no sens to me.

    cross-posted
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I can't imagine where the idea "auf die Stadt" could come from!?
    "in die/ der Stadt" :thumbsup:
    "auf die/ der Stadt" :confused: make no sens to me.
    Use of prepositions doesn't always follow a simple logic and as a foreigner you tend to struggle with these things. E.g., for me as a German, it has always been puzzling why the English hop on the bus rather than in[to] the bus.
     
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    Perseas

    Senior Member
    You can make a parallel between a city and a circle.
    At first you are outside the circle/the city. Then you get into the circle, you get into the city. Ich gehe in die Stadt. Ich gehe ins Zentrum.

    I think, if you do the opposite movement, you use "aus". Ich gehe aus der Stadt.
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Hi, I just want to summarize:
    "In die Stadt gehen" is a kind of idiom.

    It has a literal meaning in some cases. But this is mostly the case if "die" is not an article but a demonstrative pronoun (die Stadt = diese Stadt, "die" is stressed).

    Usually it has one of three meanings (including the literal one) depending on context. You cannot know what is meant without context.

    1. You live in a village. "In die Stadt" is the town near your village.
    2. You live in a larger town (not a very small one)
    It means "into the centre" of the town where I live.

    In other cases you will not use "in die Stadt" but name the town:

    Ich gehe nach Steinach.
    Ich gehe nach Dresden.

    ---
    If I live in the centre of Dresden; so I am "in der Stadt". I cannot say "Ich gehe in die Stadt."
    I live in Mickten which is part of Dresden but not the centre. So I can say "Ich gehe in die Stadt."

    If I say: "Ich gehe in die Stadt", it means I go into the centre.

    Implicitely perseas mentioned this in #14, but he did not write explicitely that "in die Stadt" means "into the centre of the town" in larger towns.

    When I was a child I wöbdered about that usage, because I was already in Dresden, this mmeans I was inside the town.

    My parents meant always "into the centre."

    It is similar to "to go downtown" in English.
     
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    Cub Pilot

    Senior Member
    Ich gehe/ fahre in die Stadt bedeutet einfach I go downtown im Englischen. Es ist ein idiomatischer Ausdruck, nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Hutschi liegt richtig.
    Außerdem würde ich sagen, dass der Satz eigentlich heißen müsste:
    Wenn ich in die Stadt gehe, trinke ich immer gerne einen Kaffee im (Café) Kranzler. (oder ähnlich):)
    Das Café KRANZLER – früher – und heute? - Blog@inBerlin
    In einem Café trinkt man normalerweise nicht "etwas", sondern nur Kaffee ! Im Kranzler sowieso:)!!!
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    In historical times there was a wall/fence around a town.
    You see it even in the name:
    "Town" is cognate with German "Zaun" ="fence".

    Around a town/Stadt there was a fence.

    Today we have only relicts of it, one is the language relict with "in die Stadt".
     

    Englishstudent03

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    Here "in" means "towards the inside, crossing the border between inside and outside". But the border need not be closed, it can be an imaginary and vague border. A similar example: "Das Flugzeug fliegt in die Wolke."
    Now I understand. However, for a non-native speaker, this is pretty difficult to imagine, especially if there is no teacher to help. Thank you and good evening!
     

    Englishstudent03

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    In historical times there was a wall/fence around a town.
    You see it even in the name:
    "Town" is cognate with German "Zaun" ="fence".

    Aruond a town/Stadt there was a fence.
    Right; however, as I said, for a 16 year old non-native speaker it is difficult to imagine. Put yourself in my shoes: would you think about that if you weren't a German speaker? Probably not. Nonetheless, thank you! Good evening
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Right; however, as I said, for a 16 year old non-native speaker it is difficult to imagine. Put yourself in my shoes: would you think about that if you weren't a German speaker? Probably not. Nonetheless, thank you! Good evening
    No, I would not (except that I was interested in such things).
    That is why I tried to explain it.
    I wish you a good evening, too.

    By the way: If you come into old towns, you can see rests of walls and towers. This may be interesting for you.
    Here I try to tell the language aspects.

    At least for me it was much easier to memorize if I knew such relations.

    ---

    Compare:

    Auf die Burg/in die Burg. (Castle/fortress)

    Both works because a Burg was usually at the top of a mountain.
     

    Englishstudent03

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    No, I would not (except that I was interested in such things).
    That is why I tried to explain it.
    I wish you a good evening, too.

    By the way: If you come into old towns, you can see rests of walls and towers. This may be interesting for you.
    Here I try to tell the language aspects.

    At least for me it was much easier to memorize if I knew such relations.

    ---

    Compare:

    Auf die Burg/in die Burg. (Castle/fortress)

    Both works because a Burg was usually at the top of a mountain.
    I am too, I really like ancient history and I adore literature. Thank you for your explanations! These exceptions are not written anywhere in the books I own, so thanks a lot! I've also discovered another one: im Gebirge. Well, I don't see how mountains could be enclosed, but I guess I'll accept that as it is. Again, thank you and good evening!
     

    Lhost Vokus

    Senior Member
    German
    Change the "closed place" rule:
    Does the place have a three-dimensional character? (The third dimension, the height, must be more than the size of a human being) => "in"
    Does the place (or the idea of the place) have a two-dimensional character? => "auf"

    auf den Platz / in die Stadt
    auf die Wiese / in den Wald
    auf die Insel/ in das Gebirge
    auf das Wasser (Jesus) / in das Wasser (Michael Phelps)
    auf dem Mond (idea: surface of the moon)/ im Weltraum

    I think, that will not explain all, but it fits more than "closed place".
     

    Englishstudent03

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    Change the "closed place" rule:
    Does the place have a three-dimensional character? (The third dimension, the height, must be more than the size of a human being) => "in"
    Does the place (or the idea of the place) have a two-dimensional character? => "auf"

    auf den Platz / in die Stadt
    auf die Wiese / in den Wald
    auf die Insel/ in das Gebirge
    auf das Wasser (Jesus) / in das Wasser (Michael Phelps)
    auf dem Mond (idea: surface of the moon)/ im Weltraum

    I think, that will not explain all, but it fits more than "closed place".
    Thanks a lot! Have a nice day.
     

    Jektor

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Use of prepositions doesn't always follow a simple logic and as a foreigner you tend to struggle with these things. E.g., for me as a German, it has always been puzzling why the English hop on the bus rather than in[to] the bus.
    .
    I saw this explained somewhere as follows:
    You get "on" to a vehicle if you can subsequently walk around while on it - so you get on the ship, the bus, the plane, the train etc.
    You get "in" to a vehicle if you cannot subsequently move around inside it - you get in to the car, taxi, etc.
    So you would get in to a small two-seater airplane, but get on a large jumbo-jet airplane.
    forum.wordreference.com - got-off-got-out-of-the-aeroplane.607497/#3391558
    .
     
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