Accusative prepositions (5-Minute German Grammar)

Accusative prepositions (5-Minute German Grammar)

Welcome to 5-Minute German Grammar. Thank
you for watching! This presentation will cover accusative prepositions. In a prior presentation we learned how accusative
prepositional phrases function and saw that there are seven accusative prepositions in
German: “bis”; “durch”; “entlang”; “für”; “gegen”; “ohne”; and “um.”
This presentation will explain how to use these prepositions in a sentence. “Bis” can be used to express “until,”
“up to a certain point in time,” or “by a certain point in time.” For example: “Ich
warte bis nächsten Freitag” (“I will wait until next Friday”). The masculine
accusative ending on the adjective shows that everything between the preposition and its
object is in the accusative case. “Bis,” meaning “as far as,” is also
use to express a distance up to a certain point. For example: “Ich fahre bis Berlin”
(“I am driving as far as Berlin”). Here there are no adjectives in the phrase to take
an accusative ending, although the entire phrase is still in the accusative case. “Bis”
is often used in conjunction with an other preposition, which will determine the case
of the following object. As we have seen in an earlier presentation,
“durch” means “through” as in “Ich gehe durch den Wald” (“I go through the
forest”). Again, the masculine accusative ending on the definite article reveals that
everything between the preposition and its object is in the accusative case. “Entlang,” meaning “down” or “along,”
is an unusual preposition in that it comes after its object. For example: “Ich gehe
die Straße entlang” (“I am going down the street” or “I am going along the street”).
In some dialects you may see this preposition with a dative object or used in conjunction
with a dative two-way preposition. We will discuss two-way prepositions in a later presentation. The preposition “für” has the same meaning
as English “for,” as you see in this sentence: “Ich kaufe das für meinen Vater” (“I
buy that for my father”). I have marked the masculine accusative ending to show you
that everything in the prepositional phrase is in the accusative case. “Für” can also be used to express a duration
of time, but only when the verb functions independently of the time element. For example:
“Ich fahre für drei Tage nach Berlin” (“I am traveling to Berlin for three days”).
In this sentence, the accusative prepositional phrase relates how long I intend to stay and
does not describe the manner in which I drive. However, if the time expression modifies the
activity of the verb, then we must use an accusative time expression without the preposition
“für.” For example: “Ich bleibe drei Tage in Berlin” (“I am staying three days
in Berlin”). In this sentence, the accusative time expression provides more information
with regards to how long I will be staying in Berlin. The preposition “gegen” has a lot of meanings.
It can mean either “against” an idea as in: “Wir sind gegen Extremismus” (“We
are against extremism”). Or “against” a person, such as “Hast
du etwas gegen mich?” (“Do you have something against me?”). Here the first-person singular
accusative personal pronoun “mich” is the object of the preposition. “Gegen” can also mean “against” in
the sense of a physical object. For example: “Sie wirft den Ball gegen die Wand” (“She
throws the ball against the wall”). The preposition “gegen” is also used to
express “toward,” “around,” or “about” in time expressions, such as: “Wir kommen
gegen 12.30 Uhr” (“We’re coming about 12:30 PM). And “gegen” can also be used to express
“for,” as in: “Ich tausche alt gegen neu” (“I am trading in the old for the
new”). The preposition “ohne” has the same meaning
as the English “without,” as you see in this sentence: “Ich fahre ohnen meinen Bruder”
(“I am driving without my brother”). Finally, the preposition “um” can mean
either “around” a physical object, such as: “Ich gehe um die Ecke” (“I am going
around the corner”), or, in the case of a time expression, “um”
can mean “at a specific point in time,” such as: “Wir kommen um 12.30 Uhr” (“We
are coming at 12:30 PM). In any case, as you have seen in this presentation, prepositions
have nuances and numerous meanings, all of which which require time and experience to
use correctly. The 5-Minute German Grammar series is produced
by David Neville, Associate Professor of German. The videos, scripts, and lecture slides are
released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Don’t be a square
– remix and share!


  • Mohamed Alktif

    June 23, 2016

    Danke 🙂

  • Doctor. H

    September 16, 2016

    thank you very much professor for those invaluable lectures .. I have a question regarding the example you mentioned ( sie wirft den ball gegen die wand ) why did den ball get in the accusative case .. thank you again

  • Doctor. H

    September 16, 2016

    thank you professor now it's clear initially I thought whatever came after the word "gegen" should be in the accusative case and it threw me off .. and your lectures have been than helpful to me and a couple of friends to actually learn the correct grammar ..

  • ferhat ozden

    September 26, 2016

    best German grammar youtube site ever. Thank you very much professor.

  • 張永蔚

    June 22, 2017

    how could the first exampled sentence be the future tense?


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