Prepositions of place (2)

Prepositions that indicate location or direction

Prepositions connect words and word groups together. They describe a relationship between people or things.

Prepositions of place describe spatial relationships like location or direction.

These prepositions can be categorized according to different criteria:

  • Meaning: does the preposition give a location (wo?) or a direction (woher?/wohin?)?
  • Case: does the preposition take the dative or the accusative?

With prepositions that take the dative or accusative, the case depends on the meaning:


Position (Wo?):


Direction (Wohin?):

in in
an an
unter unter
über über
auf auf
vor vor
hinter hinter
neben neben
zwischen zwischen


There are also prepositions whose case is not dependent on meaning. The following prepositions can all indicate movement from one direction or in one direction. Some of them are always used with the dative, others always with the accusative.


Dative Accusative
aus durch
nach entlang*
an ... vorbei  


*entlang is used only with the accusative if the preposition comes after the noun: die Straße entlang.