German Language and Culture
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for Marlene
German for Everyone - An Online German Course for Beginners and Intermediate Learners
Lesson 3: Talking about doing things

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Talking about directions and locations

This page introduces you to the last piece of grammar that you will learn in this lesson. It gives you an introduction into prepositions, in particular the German preposition 'in'.

Using prepositions in German is not as easy as in other languages. But simple rules, summarized on this page will help you to handle the use of the preposition 'in'.

In German, there are many ways to tell someone where you are going or where you want to go.

One way of doing so is by using the regular verb 'gehen' plus the preposition 'in' plus a noun that describes the location (e.g. 'Garten'). It works pretty much the same way as in English.
Ich gehe in die Schule.I'm going to the school.
Du gehst in eine Bar.You are going to a bar.

If the noun that describes the location is masculine (e.g. 'der Garten'), the direct article 'der' becomes 'den'. All other articles ('die' and 'das') and the articles of the subject of the sentence stay the same.

Der Lehrer geht in den Park.The teacher is going into the park.
Die Lehrerin geht in den Zoo.The teacher (fem.) is going into the zoo.

Another thing to remember is, that if the preposition 'in' directly precedes the definite article 'das', the two words are merged to 'ins':
Wir gehen ins Schwimmbad.We are going to the pool.
Bertram geht ins Kino.Bertram is going to the movie theater.

Study the following nouns that all describe locations. Note that those nouns that are masculine will change their articles to 'den' if they are used in the context described by the rule above.

Click on the blue arrows to hear the words in German.

der Park
(the park)

das Büro
(the office)

die Bank
(the bank)

das Stadion
(the stadium)

das Cafe
(the cafe)

das Schwimmbad
(the pool)

der Zoo
(the zoo)

die Kirche
(the church)

das Restaurant
(the restaurant)

das Kino
(the movie theater/cinema)

der Supermarkt
(the supermarket)

die Stadt
(the city (center))

It is worth mentioning here once again that it is important that you learn the articles together with each noun. Only by knowing the grammatical gender of a noun, you can actually apply the rule above. If you don't know, whether a noun is masculine or not, how can you know then whether to change the article to 'den' or not?

Supply the correct article for the given phrases. Make sure you distinguish each time between subject and direct object.

Student geht in
Student geht in

Mädchen geht in
2) Jürgen geht in
3) Wir gehen in
Junge geht
5) Du gehst


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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D] [E]

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