In the last post, we began our journey into German prepositions with dative prepositions. Those were prepositions that were always followed by the dative.
This post, we shall look at accusative prepositions, which are prepositions that are followed by nouns and pronouns in the accusative case.
Put it another way, using these prepositions will trigger the use of the accusative.
It is important to remember that in many cases, there is no direct translation of prepositions from German into English. More accurately, a preposition used in English might not be used in a German sentence with the same meaning.
The prepositions with the accusative are:
- bis (until)
- durch (through)
- für (for)
- gegen (against)
- ohne (without)
- um (around, at [time])
Remembering the Accusative Prepositions
How can you remember this list?
The same worksheet that I used for remembering dative prepositions had a poem for remembering the accusative prepositions, but it never stuck. It might also be because that wasn’t the focus of that particular lesson and the teacher didn’t dwell on it.
In the end, I remembered the accusative prepositions courtesy of a comment I read on a Duolingo discussion.
You can sing all the prepositions to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down.
Durch, für, gegen, ohne, um, ohne, um, ohne, um
Durch, für, gegen, ohne, um, bis, bis, bis.
More Accusative Prepositions
Again, those are the most common accusative prepositions.
There is also entlang, which is rather special, because it goes after the object, making it more of a postposition.
Example: Ich gehe die Straße entlang.
(It can also go before, but in that case it is usually in the dative or genitive.)
Contractions with Accusative Prepositions
Here are some contractions of the accusative prepositions with definite articles:
- durch + das = durchs
- für + das = fürs
- um + das = ums
It is helpful to recognise these contractions, so that you can better understand a text when you come across them.
Next week, we look into two-way prepositions.