Lektion 2: Erweiterung


Vor dem Lesen

Sie werden eine Beschreibung von einem Wohnzimmer, einem Schlafzimmer und einer Küche lesen. Was für Möbel gibt es in diesem Zimmer?

icon reading "von Hand" with paper and pencilIn einem Wohnzimmer gibt es typischerweise…
In einem Schlafzimmer gibt es typischerweise…
In einer Küche gibt es typischerweise…



Britt beschreibt ihr Wohnzimmer: Wenn ich durch die Wohnzimmertür gehe, gibt es rechts ein Sofa und neben dem Sofa ist ein Sessel. Vor dem Sofa ist ein Kaffeetisch. Und dann links von der Tür ist der Fernseher. Gerade aus, wenn ich von der Tür nach vorne sehe, dann gibt es einen Tisch mit vier Stühlen.


Barbara beschreibt ihr Schlafzimmer: Im Schlafzimmer ist unter dem Fenster das Doppelbett und an der Wand links neben der Tür der Schrank.


Barbara beschreibt ihre Küche: In der Küche gibt es einen Kühlschrank. Unter dem Fenster ist unsere Spüle und an der Wand rechts ist der Ofen.


Arbeit mit dem Lesen

icon reading "von Hand" with paper and pencil

Zeichnen Sie Britts Wohnzimmer! Wo steht was? Draw a picture of Britt’s living room that reflects her description.




Prepositions: A Review

As you have already learned, prepositions, or Präpositionen, are typically short words that are followed by nouns. Prepositions add detail or express a relationship with another element in your sentence. Here are some examples of English prepositions: in, on, with, behind, for, to.

Sometimes we talk about prepositional phrases. Prepositional phrases begin with the preposition itself, include any article or adjective that comes before the noun, and the noun itself. The noun that follows the preposition is called the object of the preposition. Here are some examples of complete prepositional phrases: in the bedroom, on the brown table, with the blooming flowers, behind the couch.

You’ve already heard and read many prepositions in German. Examples that you might have noticed before include für, in, mit, and von. These prepositions are closely related to their English counterparts: für means for, in means inmit means with, and von means from. In English, you may know that the objects of prepositions take an objective case, so you don’t say “with I” but rather “with me.” In German, too, the objects of prepositions always take some kind of objective case to signify that those nouns are indeed the object of the preposition. Some prepositions in German always take the accusative case, and some always take other cases.

Two-Way Prepositions

Another class of prepositions are called two-way prepositions or Wechselpräpositionen. You were introduced to these in the Reisen und Transport module. These prepositions take a different case depending on the way in which they are used. Today we are reviewing two-way prepositions to describe location. When this class of prepositions are used to answer the question “where?” (“wo?”) as opposed to “where to?”, they take the dative case. In other words, if you describe the locations of items in a room, you will use two-way prepositions with the dative case. Here are some examples with the prepositional phrases italicized:

Das Bett ist in dem Schlafzimmer.
Neben dem Bett ist der Nachttisch.

The two-way prepositions are:

an = on
Das Bild hängt an der Wand.

auf = on
Der Couchtisch steht auf dem Teppich.

hinter = behind
Der Stuhl ist hinter dem Tisch.

in = in
Das Geschirr ist in dem Schrank.

neben = next to
Der Nachttisch ist neben dem Bett

über = over, above
Die Lampe hängt über dem Esstisch.

unter = under
Das Sofa ist unter dem Fenster.

vor = in front of
Der Sessel steht vor der Lampe.

zwischen = between
Das Bett ist zwischen dem Tisch und der Wand.

Forms of the Dative Case: Review

How do you form the dative case? Here are two charts to remind you of the dative forms of both definite and indefinite articles. Note that definite and indefinite articles change for all the genders and the plural in the dative case.

Dative definite articles


Dative indefinite articles


Remember that in German just like in English there are some important contractions. The following two two-way prepositions are often contracted in speech and writing:

in dem = im

an dem = am

Two-Way Prepositions with Dative

A note about an & auf

The German prepositions an and auf both mean “on” in English. So when do you use each one? Well, auf refers to horizontal surface, whereas an refers to a vertical surface. If something is lying on the table, you would say auf dem Tisch. But if something is hanging on the wall, you would say that it is an der Wand. Similarly, if something is up against a vertical surface, you would use an: die Couch steht an der Wand.

So, what’s the difference between auf dem Tisch and an dem Tisch? Auf dem Tisch indicates that something is on the lying or sitting on the horizontal surface of the table, whereas an dem Tisch means that you are sitting upright (vertically) at the table, in alignment with the legs of the table.

Class of nouns

As you are certainly realizing, it’s important to know the class of each noun so that you can correctly put it into the dative case. Remember way back in the the first unit of Familie und Freunde when you learned that the class of nouns is not random? Here’s that table again to help you review.

Noun ClassNoun endingsOther linguistic indicationsMeanings
die-a, -anz, -ei, -enz, -heit, -ie, -ik, -in, -keit, -schaft, -sion, -tät, -tion, -ung, -ur*Nouns ending it -t and that come from verbs;
*Most nouns ending in -e
*Female animals and humans;
*Planes, ships, and motorbikes;
*Names of numerals
das-chen, -lein, -ma, -ment, -sel, -tel, -tum, -um*Most nouns starting with Ge-;
*Many nouns ending with -nis and -sal;
*Most nouns with the endings -al, -an, -al, -är, -at, -ent, -ett, -ier, -iv, -o, -on
*Young humans and animals;
*Citys, towns, countries, provinces, continents;
*Different parts of speech used as nouns (like infinitives of verbs, also colors);
*Metals and chemical elements;
*Scientific units;
*Names of companies with no article
der-ant, -ast, -ich, -ig, -ismus, -ling, -or, -us*Most nouns with only one syllable;
*Most nouns ending in -le, -er, -en;
*Most nouns that come from a strong verb with a vowel change
*Male animals and humans;
*Seasons, months, days of the week;
*Mountains and mountain ranges;
*Rivers outside of Germany;
*Rocks and minerals;
*Compass points and words about weather and wind;
*Names of currencies;
*Car brands

In the following exercise, you are asked to select the correct dative form for each noun based on the class of that noun. See how you do and which nouns you need to learn or review!




Unser Haus

icon of pencil and paper that reads "von Hand"Imagine that you’re sharing a house with the other people in your group from your class.  The only rooms that the house has are the ones that you and your classmates have described.  What rooms and furniture do you have?  Which rooms and furniture are repeated?  What rooms and furniture would you need?  Write 5-10 sentences.



The word “Möbel”

The word Möbel in German warrants a short discussion. Die Möbel means furniture, and just like in English, there is no plural form: You don’t typically say furnitures because the word furniture itself implies a collective group of items. In German, in addition to die Möbel, you may see das Möbel, which means an individual piece of furniture in contrast to furniture in general. Another way to say this is das Möbelstück, which, when you break the word apart, literally means a furniture piece.

To summarize:

die Möbel = furniture
das Möbel = a piece of furniture
das Möbelstück = a piece of furniture

Want to review the furniture vocabulary? Go back to Lektion 2 and revisit the exercise that we did in class today in which you label the furniture in each room. Then you can also do this word find.



die Badewanne, -n
das Bett, -en
das Bild, er
die Couch, -en or -s
der Couchtisch, -e
die Dusche, -n
der Esstisch, -e
der Fernseher, –
der Herd, -e
das Klo, -s
die Kommode, -n
der Küchenschrank, -¨e
der Kühlschrank, -¨e
die Lampe, -n
der Nachttisch, -e
das Regal, -e
der Schrank, -¨e
der Schreibtisch, -e
der Sessel, –
das Sofa, -s
der Spiegel, –
der Stuhl, -¨e
der Teppich, -e
die Toilette, -n
die Wand, -¨e
das Waschbecken, –



Adjectives and Adverbs


Other useful words and phrases

es gibt
gerade aus

Two-Way Prepositions: an, auf, hinter, neben, in, über, unter, vor, zwischen