Wechselpräposition an

an is a German preposition, which needs sometimes the dative and sometimes the accusative. It needs datitve when it responds to the question wo? (where?) and the accusative when it answers the question wohin? (where to?). Wohin? implies a direction and wo? a place. an can be used in diffrent situations.

1. Place
Dative:
Er wohnt an der Haltestelle.
He lives at the bus stop.

Das Bild hängt an der Wand.
The picture hangs on the wall.

Der Patient hat Schmerzen am Hals.
The patient has pain in the throat.

Accusative:
Der Junge setzt sich an den Tisch.
The boy sits down at the table.

Der Bauarbeiter lehnt das Brett an die Wand.
The construction worker leans the board against the wall.

2. Time
Dative:
An meinem Geburtstag bekam ich viele Geschenke.
On my birthday, I received many gifts.

Wir treffen uns an diesem Abend.
We meet this evening.

3. Institution
Dative:
Diese Studentin studiert an unserer Universität.
This student is studying at our university.

Accusative:
An welche Schule willst du gehen?
Which school do you want to go to?

4. As an addition
Dative:
Ich bin noch an der Arbeit.
I am still at work.

Der Schüler nimmt an einem neuen Kurs teil.
The student participates in a new course.

Du bist an diesem Problem schuld.
You are to blame for this problem.

Accusative:
Er denkt ständig an seine Hochzeit.
He is constantly thinking about his wedding.

Glaubst du an Gott?
Do you believe in God?

5. Other uses
Dative:
Was hat der Laden an Handys?
What does the store have on mobile phones?

Ich kenne den Mann gut. Wir wohnen Tür an Tür.
I know the man well. We live door to door. (next to each other)

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