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What's the difference between prepositions 'auf' and 'an'? And 'in'?

For learning: German
Base language: English
Category: Uncategorized



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    All the prepositions can be used to specify a *location*:
    Wo ist meine Brille? Where are my glasses?
    Sie liegt auf dem Tisch. They are on the table.
    -> "auf = on (top)"
    Sie liegt im Badezimmer. They are in the bathroom.
    -> "in = in"
    Sie liegt am (=an dem) Fernseher. They lie next to the TV.
    But: Ich habe viel Geld auf dem Konto. I have a lot of money on my account.

    In addition these prepositions can also be used differently. For instance they can also indicate a direction:
    Ich gebe das Buch an meinen Bruder. I give the book to my brother.
    Wir gehen in die Berge. We go into the mountains.
    Ich klettere auf den Baum. I climb on the tree.

    Hopefully these examples give you some indication about the use:
    "auf" usually implies "on (top)" or an upward direction
    "in" usually implies a location surrounded by something

    I know, prepositions are very hard! I am learning Dutch right now and although German and Dutch are quite similar I am always confused about the different use of prepositions. Good luck for your studies!

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