Many verbs are used in conjunction with a particular preposition which is followed by an object in the accusative or dative case. There is no fixed rule regarding the choice of preposition for the verb or for the case of the object. The verb, preposition and the case, therefore, should be learned as one unit, as the German and English are often different.

Ich suche nach Monika. - I am looking for Monika.

German pronouns used as subjects, direct or indirect objects may refer to people, animals, things, or ideas with the same precision of case, gender, and number as do nouns. A pronoun object of a preposition in German refers only to a living person or an animate being, so that the ihn in Ich denke an ihn can only signify a person or an animate being with a masculine-gender name. To refer to inanimate objects or ideas used with prepositions, German uses shortcuts known as da-compounds (Da-Komposita or Da-Verbindungen).

In da-compounds, da(r)- precedes the preposition. When the preposition begins with a vowel, -r- is inserted to facilitate pronunciation. Da-compounds occur with many but not all prepositions.


glauben an - to believe in

Wir müssen daran glauben. - We have to believe that.

Daran müssen wir glauben. - We need to believe that.

mit etw. zufrieden sein - to be please with

Ich bin damit nicht zufrieden. - I am not pleased with that.

über etw. nachdenken - to think hard about

Ich muss darüber nachdenken. - I have to think about it.

Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension

Grammar Topics

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