German Grammar Explained /

Dative prepositions

Wo bist du?
Ich bin an, nein in, nein warte... beim Frisör.
Ever felt frustrated for not knowing which preposition to use when talking about places? No worries, we have done our research and we are going to show you a couple of tips and tricks!
1. Inside a place that usually has four walls and a roof ⇒ IN
Ich bin...
im Büro
in the office
im Supermarkt
at the supermarket
in der Apotheke
at the drugstore
Exceptions: Im Park, im Garten (no walls) Zu Hause (with walls)
In der Küche (even if it is an open kitchen, because open kitchens are a relatively new concept ;))
2. At the entrance, next to, or touching sidewards ⇒ AN
Ich bin...
an der Bushaltestelle
at the bus top
am Flughafen
at the door
am Bahnhof
at the entrance, near the station or at the platform
Note here: im Flughafen is grammatically correct if you are inside the airport building, but it is not very common to say that, more common is to say am Flughafen. Same with am Bahnhof.
3. At an outdoor place or open area ⇒ AUF
Ich bin...
auf dem Marktplatz
on the market square
auf einer Insel
on an island
auf dem Balkon
on the balcony
auf der Party
at the party (indoor or outdoor parties)
4. At someone's place ⇒ BEI (even if it's a doctor's office or a hairdresser)
Ich bin...
beim Frisör
at the hairdresser's
bei der Ärztin
at the doctor's
beim Bäcker
at the baker's (in the bakery)
Did you notice that in all these cases we use the dative? Because we're saying WHERE we are.
Masculine/Neuter
Feminin
Plural
BEIM
BEI DER
BEI DEN
AUF DEM
AUF DER
AUF DEN
IM
IN DER
IN DEN
AM
AN DER
AN DEN