German Dative Prepositions


German Dative prepositions are always governed by the dative case, which shows the indirect object in a sentence. That is, the noun or pronoun that is the object of these prepositions is marked by the dative. Yes... another list to memorize.

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There are nine prepositions that always take the dative case, but for memorizing them, we will use only the most common eight (see chart below; gegenüber is not listed). A mnemonic device for them is singing them in order to the tune of “The Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss. Below the table, there are several examples of the prepositions and all of their meanings (in order as they appear in the table).

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aus:  Ihr kommt aus dem Büro.  /  Ich komme aus Kalifornien.  /  Der Tisch ist aus Holz.

außer:  Außer mir gibt es keinen anderen mehr.  /  Wir hatten alle außer meinem Bruder Spaß.

bei:  Ich habe beim Hotel übernachtet.  /  Er arbeitet bei Audi.

mit:  Sie ist mit ihrem Freund ausgegangen.  /  Sie fahren gern mit gem Zug.

nach:  Nach der Pause arbeite ich noch ein paar Stunden.  /  Ihr fahrt nach München.  /  Nach dem Autor ist sein Buch Fiktion.

seit:  Seit Freitag habe ich Kopfschmerzen.  /  Meine Kusine wohnt seit einer Woche bei mir.

von:  Vom Anfang gab es Probleme.  /  Es war klug von dir.  /   Das ist der neue Roman von Frank Schätzing.

zu:  Ich gehe zur Friseurin.  /  Sie sind nicht so freundlich zu mir.

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The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
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I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
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I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.

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