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German Dative Prepositions

List of all topics in the level A2

Some prepositions consistently require the use of the dative case. In the German language, these prepositions are referred to as Präpositionen mit Dativ (prepositions with dative). The prepositions that necessitate the dative case are as follows:

German A2 Book
A self-study guide for the A2 level

This page is part of the step-by-step German learning A2 level course. To see the complete grammatical details of German prepositions, please visit the page German prepositions in the section Summary of German Grammer.

ab (from)

"Ab" is used for both the start of time (temporal information) and the start of a place (local information).

Diese Fahrkarte ist ab dem Montag gültig. (This ticket is valid from Monday.)

Diese Fahrkarte ist ab Berlin gültig. (This ticket is valid from Berlin (onwards).)

Ab dem ersten September lernen wir Deutsch. (From the first of September, we are learning German.)

Ab dem Anfang von Dorf fahren wir ganz langsam. (From the beginning of village we drive very slowly.)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
die Fahrkarte (ticket (of bus or train)), der Montag (Monday), gültig (valid), erst (first), der Anfang (start, beginning), das Dorf (village), langsam (slow)

aus (from)

"Aus" gives the origin of a thing or person.

Woher kommen Sie? (Where are you from?)
Ich komme aus Berlin. (I come from berlin. I am from Berlin.)

Meine Eltern kommen aus den USA. (My parents are from the USA.)
Meine Eltern sind aus den USA. (My parents are from the USA.)
"Die USA" is a plural noun. The plural definite article "die" declines to "den" in the dative case.

Um wie viel Uhr kommt dein Sohn aus der Schule. (What time does your son get out of school?)

Origin of things

The preposition "aus" is also used to explain the original material of a thing from which it is manufactured or the origin of the material in nature.

Dieser Kuli ist aus Holz. (This pen is made of wood.)

Das Holz kommt aus dem Wald. (The wood comes from the forest.)

Am meisten Gold kommt aus Afrika. (Most of the gold comes from Africa.)

Mein Ring ist auch aus Gold. (My ring is also made of gold.)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
die Schule (school), das Holz (wood), der Wald (forest), am meisten (most of all), das Gold (gold), das Afrika (Africa), der Ring (ring)

bei (with, at, near to, next to)

The preposition "bei" conveys the sense of "being at a particular place" or "being at a specific time." However, due to translation constraints, it is often rendered as "with," "at," "while," and similar terms, which may not precisely capture its intended meanings. The following examples illustrate the distinct meanings of "bei."

"Bei" in the sense of "at the place of":

Gestern war ich bei dem Doktor Müller. (Yesterday I was with Dr. Müller.)
Mein Freund Jan war auch bei ihm. (My friend Jan was also with him.)
The literal translation would be: Yesterday I was at the place of Dr. Müller. My friend Jan was also at his place.

"bei" + "dem"

"Bei" can be combined with "dem" to form one word. For example, Gestern war ich "beim" Doktor Müller.

Jan wohnt bei seinen Eltern. (Jan lives with his parents.)
Literally: Jan lives at the place of his parents.

"Bei" also has the meaning "at the time of":

Mein Hund bleibt bei der Nacht und Regen draußen. (My dog stays outside at night and rain.)
Literally: My dog stays outside at the time of night and rain.

Beim Schnee muss man langsam fahren. (In the snow one have to drive slowly.) Literally: At the time of snow one have to drive slowly.

Beim Regen muss man der Regenschirm mitnehmen. (In the rain one must take the umbrella with him.)

Beim Essen sollst du nicht viel sprechen. (While you eat you should not speak much.)

"Bei" in the sense of "near to, next to":

Die Universität ist bei dem Krankenhaus. (The university is near to / next to the hospital.)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
der Hund (dog), bleiben (to stay, to remain), die Nacht (night), der Regen (rain), draußen (outside), Schnee (snow), der Regenschirm (umbrella), mitnehmen (take, take along, take with one), das Krankenhaus (hospital), die Klinik (clinic),
essen (to eat),
das Essen (food, noun that describes the process of eating something),
das Mittagessen (lunch),
das Abendessen (dinner),
das Frühstück (breakfast)

mit (with)

Jan wohnt mit seinen Eltern. (Jan lives with his parents.)
Compare this example with the previous example with the preposition "bei".
Jan wohnt bei seinen Eltern. This gives the meaning that Jan lives at the place of his parents (i.e., the property doesn't belong to Jan).
When we use the preposition "mit": Jan wohnt mit seinen Eltern, this gives no information about who is the owner of the place or to whom the place belongs. It just gives the information that Jan lives "with" his parents.

Ich esse immer Pizza mit extra Käse. (I always eat pizza with extra cheese.)

Ich trinke manchmal Cola mit der Pizza. (Sometimes, I drink coke with the pizza.)
Die Pizza mit der Cola schmeckt mir. (The pizza with the coke tastes good. I like the taste of pizza with coke.)

Willst du mit mir Fußball spielen? (Do you want to play soccer with me?)

Ich spreche mit dir und du hörst gar nicht. (I talk/am talking to you and you do not hear.)
Ich höre alles, was du sagst. Ich arbeite mit meinen Händen nicht mit den Ohren. (I hear/am hearing everything you say/are saying. I am working with my hands not with ears.)

Mit was fährst du? (What are you traveling with?)
Ich fahre mit dem Bahn. (I am going by train. I take the train.)
Ich fahre mit dem Auto. (I am going by car.)

Mit wem fährst du? (Whom are you traveling with?)
Ich fahre mit meinem Bruder. (I am traveling with my brother.)
Ich fahre mit meiner Frau. (I am traveling with my wife.)
Ich fahre mit meinen Eltern. (I am traveling with my parents.)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
wohnen (to live), der Käse (cheese), manchmal (sometimes), die Cola (coke), schmecken (to taste, taste good), der Fußball (soccer), hören (to listen), sagen (to say, to tell, to speak), die Hand (hand), die Hände (hands), das Ohr (ear), die Ohren (ears)

nach (to, towards, after)

"Nach" is used with place names that have no articles, e.g., names of cities, villages, and countries.

Wir fahren morgen nach Berlin. (We're going to Berlin tomorrow.)

Welche Station kommt nach Berlin Hauptbahnhof? (Which station comes after Berlin main station?)

Directions (left, right, upward, downward, forward, and backward) are always indicated with "nach".

nach links (to the left), nach rechts (to the right), nach vorne (forward), nach hinten (to the rear, backward), nach oben (up, upward), nach unten (down, downward)

Nach dem Krankenhaus biegen Sie nach links. (After the hospital turn left.)

Bitte fahren Sie ganz langsam nach hinten. (Please drive slowly backwards.)

Siehst du nach oben? Wie schön sind die Sterne? (Are you looking up? How beautiful are the stars?)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
die Station (station), der Bahnhof (train station), der Hauptbahnhof (central railway station, main railway station), biegen (to turn), langsam (slow, slowly), ganz (very, all, complete), sehen (to see), der Stern (star), die Sterne (stars)

seit (since)

The preposition "seit" is employed in a temporal context to convey both "since" and "for."

Seit wann wohnen Sie in Berlin? (Since when do you live in Berlin?)

Seit den drei Jahren wohne ich in Berlin. (For three years I have been living in Berlin.)

Ich bin verheiratet seit drei Jahren. (I am married for three years.)

Ich kenne sie seit Juni. (I have known her since June.)

Sabine lernt seit zwei Jahren Deutsch. (Sabine has been learning German for two years.)

von (from, of)

The preposition "von" is used for both "from" and "of".

Ist es dein Auto oder ist es von Ludwig? (Is it your car or is it from Ludwig?)

Ich komme gerade von dem Arzt. (I have just coming from the doctor.)
Combination of "von" + "dem"
"Von" and "dem" can be combined into one word, i.e., "vom," e.g.,
Ich komme gerade vom Arzt.

Es ist nicht weit vom Bahnhof. (It is not far from the train station.)

Von wem bekommst du so viel Geld? (From whom do you get so much money?)

Vocabulary from above the examples
gerade (just, straight), das Geld (money)

zu (to)

The preposition "zu" is employed to convey the concept of "to." It is used when someone or something is moving in the direction of a particular individual or a specific location, which is characterized by having an article associated with its name.

Wir gehen zu dem Arzt. (We are going to the doctor.)
"zu" and "dem" can be combined into one word "zum".
Wir gehen zum Arzt.

Wir gehen zu der Universität. (We are going to the university.)
"zu" and "der" can be combined into one word "zur".
Wir gehen zur Universität.

Kinder gehen zur Schule. (Children are going to school.)

Zu Weihnachten schenke ich meinem Sohn ein Spielzeug. (For Christmas, I give my son a toy.)

Vocabulary from the above examples:
das Kind (child), die Kinder(children), das Weihnachten (Christmas), das Spielzeug (toy)

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