Easy Learning German

Personal pronouns: after prepositions - Easy Learning Grammar German

  • When a personal pronoun is used after a preposition and refers to a person, the personal pronoun is in the case required by the preposition. For example, the preposition mit is always followed by the dative case.
Ich bin mit ihm spazieren gegangen.I went for a walk with him.
  • When a thing rather than a person is referred to, da- is added at the beginning of the preposition:
Manuela hatte ein Messer geholt und wollte damit den Kuchen schneiden.Manuela had brought a knife and was about to cut the cake with it.
  • Note that before a preposition beginning with a vowel, the form dar- + preposition is used.
Lege es bitte darauf.Put it there please.
  • The following prepositions are affected in this way:
PrepositionPreposition + da or dar
  • Note that these combined forms are also used after verbs followed by prepositions.
sich erinnern an + accusative case =to remember
Ich erinnere mich nicht daran.I don’t remember (it).
Grammar Extra!After certain prepositions used to express movement, that is aus (meaning out or from), auf (meaning on) and in (meaning in or into), combined forms with hin and her are used to give more emphasis to the action being carried out.
Prepositionhin or her + Preposition
Er ging die Treppe leise hinauf.He went up the stairs quietly.
Endlich fand sie unser Zelt und kam herein.She finally found our tent and came inside.
Sie öffnete die Reisetasche und legte die Hose hinein.She opened the bag and put in her trousers.
Key points
  • When a personal pronoun referring to a person is used after a preposition, the personal pronoun is in the case required by the preposition.
  • When a personal pronoun referring to a thing is used after a preposition, the construction da(r)- + preposition is used.

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