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Prepositions in the Accusative

I. Theory

As in English, prepositions are words that typically precede nouns and pronouns to show their role in the sentence or clause. Prepositions often show motion or direction: “to”, through”, “across”, “on”, “off”, “towards”, etc. while others show cause or how something is being done: “by”, “despite”, “instead of”, “without”.

In German, prepositions trigger cases to show two things: 1) which part of the sentence is being affected and 2) how they are affected - as some prepositions have more than one meaning. This lesson will focus on prepositions that always take the accusative case.

Examples of accusative prepositions:
Ich bin ohne meinen Mantel zur Arbeit gegangen.
I went to work without my coat.

Gegen wen spielst du?
Whom are you playing against?

Das Geschenk ist für meinen Vater.
The gift is for my father.

II. Accusative Prepositions

The following list contains all German propositions which will always trigger the accusative:

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