7 Comments

  1. Yes, all of those can be prepositions. (Though some people prefer two-word variants for some of them, such as “outside of the office”.)

  2. Soup, a friend who was taking German once sang for me a mnemonic for the prepositions that govern the dative case. The tune may have been The Beautiful Blue Danube. Aus ausser von zu, mit seit, nach von … Something like that.

  3. Speaking of songs, the “an auf hinter” etc. is also the chorus in a song by Øystein Sunde. The lyrics tells how he struggled with German in school and at work (all he could remember was these prepositions), until one day he met these two pretty girls from Bonn. Guess what, they took it on face value, you can guess the rest! An auf hinter in neben unter vor zwischen.

    For those of you who are knowledgeable (or amused by) a Scandinavian language:

  4. @ Mitch4 – That mnemonic would have been very helpful when I was learning the language. There are similar lists of all the noun endings that denote a certain gender (such as “-heit”, “-keit”, “-schaft”, “-ung”, [etc.] for “feminine”), but with all of these lists, you have to watch out for the occasional exception.
    In Mark Twain’s amusing essay “The Awful German Language“, he complained about grammar rules that have more exceptions than instances of them, but German actually tends to stick to its rules much more than English does, especially in spelling and pronunciation.
    P.S. @ Soup Dragon – I would have liked to hear that piece, but the link doesn’t work here.

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