Prepositions is the forty-fifth (assuming left to right) skill in the German language tree. In these five lessons, the student of German learns about the prepositions; the parts of speech that give information about time, place, or direction.

Grammar NotesEdit

German has classes of prepositions, depending on the declination of the nouns that follow them. There are four distinct classes: accusative, dative, genitive, and the so-called "swing" prepositions.

NOTE: None of the lists are exhaustive; there are a lot more than just these.

Accusative PrepositionsEdit

These prepositions will make the objects of the preposition take the accusative case. A list of them follows, with boldfaced ones NOT taught on Duolingo:

  • für
  • bis
  • durch
  • entlang
  • gegen
  • ohne
  • um
  • wider

Dative PrepositionsEdit

The prepositions of this class have their objects take the dative case. A list follows:

  • mit
  • aus
  • außer
  • nach
  • bei
  • zu
  • gegenüber
  • seit
  • von

Genitive PrepositionsEdit

The prepositions that belong in this class have objects that take the genitive case when declined. We don't know about this case yet, so this is going to be confusing to those who haven't done that lesson yet. In any case, here is a list of these prepositions:

  • statt
  • trotz
  • während
  • wegen

"statt" is not taught on Duolingo.

Swing PrepostitionsEdit

These prepositions are little bit more tricky than the others because they will take either the accusative or the dative depending on the context. Here is a list:

  • über
  • in
  • unter
  • auf
  • an
  • neben
  • hinter
  • vor
  • zwischen

The above will take the dative commonly when describing location and the accusative when describing movement or direction. Verbs are often good indicators of when to use either: "denken an" (to think of) will take the accusative always, while "eingehen" (to go into something) obviously is talking about travel.


Lesson 1Edit

  • legen = to lay
  • sitzen = to sit
  • in = in
  • im = in the
  • auf = on
  • aufs = on the

Lesson 2Edit

  • über = over
  • unter = under
  • zwischen = between
  • ins = in the

Lesson 3Edit

  • vor = in front of
  • hinter = behind
  • neben = next to
  • ab = up
  • während = during

Lesson 4Edit

  • an = on
  • am = on the
  • ums = around the

Lesson 5Edit

  • einschließlich = including
  • wegen = because of
  • außer = except


Duolingo Lesson:

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