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Prepositions and Their Cases
Word Order - The Verb
Word Order - Everything Else
The Key Points
German Language Building Blocks
How to Use Prepositions

Contractions | Accusative Das Contractions | Dative Dem Contractions | Dative Der Contractions | Da Compounds | Wo Compounds | Verbs and Prepositions | Prepositional Phrases | An + acc | An + dat | Auf + acc | Auf + dat | Aus | Bei | Für | Gegen | In + acc | In + dat | Mit | Nach | Über + acc | Unter + dat | Zu

Now that you know the different kinds of prepositions we will look at how you use them. Each one has many functions. You will learn contractions and different prefixes that you can attach to the prepositions to change them.
Contractions: these are shortened versions of two words put together. Here we have a list of the different prepositions that combine with the three definite articles. There will be a list of each definite article and which prepositions they contract with:
Accusative Das:
an + das = ans für + das = fürs
auf + das = aufs in + das = ins
durch + das = durchs um + das = ums
Less Commonly:
hinter + das = hinters unter + das = unters
über + das = übers vor + das = vors
Dative Dem:
an + dem = ans von + dem = vom
bei + dem = beim zu + dem = zum
in + dem = im
Less Commonly:
hinter + dem = hinterm unter + dem = unterm
über + dem = überm vor + dem = vorm
Dative Der:
zu + der = zur
Da- Compounds: these are used when you want to refer to something as a pronoun with a prepositon. It usually corresponds with English's with it or for it and so on:
It is formed by simply adding the prefix da- to the beginning of the preposition:
dabei, dadurch, dafür, dagegen, dahinter, damit, danach, daneben, davon, davor, dazu, and dazwischen
Although when the prepositon begins with a vowel an r is inserted between the prefix and preposition:
daran, darauf, daraus, darin, darüber, darum, and darunter
Only those listed above can combine with da-.

This compound can only be used after the noun has been said before, as with all other pronouns:
Der Ball ist grün. Ich spiele gern damit. - The ball is green. I like playing with it.
Damit refers to der Ball in sentence one.
This is only used when referring to inattimate objects though, when referring to people it must remain two worded:
Was hast du für ihn gemacht? - What did you do for him?
Was hast du dafür bezahlt? - What did you pay for it?

Generally not used with a sense of motion, darin would mean in it not into it which would be hinein. Hin and her words would be used to express motion, hindurch not dadurch. With all of these compounds the second syllable is stressed unless used emphatically, then the first is stressed.
Wo- Compounds: this is the interrogative form of the da- compound. It usually corresponds with English's with what or for what and so on:
It is also formed by simply adding a prefix, which is wo- to the beginning of the preposition:
wobei, wodurch, wofür, wogegen, wohinter, womit, wonach, wovon, wovor, and wozu
Again when the preposition begins with a vowel then an r is inserted between the prefix and preposition:
woran, worauf, woraus, worin, worüber, worum, and worunter
Only those listed above can combine with wo-.

Once again, this may only be used when referring to inattimate objects, not people:
Mit wem bist du gekommen? - Who did you come with?
Womit schreibst du? - What are you writing with?
When durch, nach, von, and zu are used with the wo- compound they do not express motion, which would be recongnized as, durch was, woher, wohin:
Wodurch ist er so reich geworden? - How did he become so rich?
Wonach fragt sie? - What is she asking about?
Wovon lebt er? - What does he live on?
Wozu kann man das brauchen? - What can one use that for?
Woher kommst du? - Where do you come from?
Wohin fliegen wir? - Where are we flying to?
As you know in English there are certain verbs that are followed by certain prepositions, the same goes for German and these must be learned as one encounters them. Here are a few:
arbeiten an (+ dat.) - to work at, on
reichen nach - to smell of
weinen über - to cry about
fliehen vor - to flee from
In addition there are also many certain phrases in which prepositions go with certain adjectives and nouns:
an + acc:
Jetzt kommen ich an die Reihe. - It's my turn now.
Er ist an solche Krisen gewohnt. - He's used to such crises.
Mein Bericht an die Direktoren. - My report to the directors.
an + dat:
Jetzt bist du an der Reihe. - It's your turn now.
Am folgenden Tag... - The next day...
An deiner Stelle würde ich... - If I were you, I should
auf + acc:
auf diese Weise - in this way
auf jeden Fall - in any case
Wir sind stolz auf dich! - We are proud of you!
auf + dat:
auf dem Bahnhof - at the station
auf der Straße - in the street
auf dem Lande - in the country
Wir wissen es aus Erfahrung. - We know from experience.
aus Baumwolle - made of cottom
aus Gewohnheit - from habit
bei meiner Tante - at my aunt's
bei gutem Wetter - in good weather
bei meiner Ankunft - on my arrival
bei dieser Gelegenheit - on this occasion
bei einem Glas Wein - over a glass of wine
Jahr für Jahr - year after year
schädlich für - detrimental to
gegen 4 Uhr - about four o'clock
gegen Ende des Jahres - towards the end of the year
empfindlich gegen - sensitive to
in + acc:
in Ordnung bringen - to tidy
Ich schnitt mich in die Hand. - I cut my hand.
verliebt in - in love with
in + dat:
in der Nacht - at night
im Augenblick - at the moment
im Gegensatz zu - in contrast to
mit Absicht - intentionally, on purpose
mit lauter Stimme - in a loud voice
mit dem Kopf nicken - to nod one's head
nach Hause - homewards
meiner Meinung nach - in my opinion
allem Anschein nach - to all appearances
begierig nach - eager for
über + acc:
ein Bericht über - a report on
froh/trauig über - glad/sad about
Wir fahren über Hamburg. - We are travelling via Hamburg.
enttäuscht über - disappointed in
unter + dat:
unter uns - amongst/between ourselves
unter dieser Bedingung - on this condition
unter diesen Umständen - in these circumstances
zu Hause - at home
zu Fuß - on foot
zu Ostern, Weihnachten - at Easter, Christmas
Lesson Twenty-Two - Conjunctions -->