Accusative prepositions

Certain prepositions need to be followed by the accusative case, and are known as the accusative prepositions:

  • für – for
  • um – round, around
  • durch – through
  • gegen – against
  • entlang – along (usually placed after the noun, rather than before it)
  • bis – until
  • ohne – without
  • wider – against, contrary to something

If learnt in the order above, you’ll see that the initial letters of the accusative prepositions spell FUDGEBOW. A good way to remember the accusative prepositions is to ‘accuse someone of stealing your fudge bow’.

Fudge wrapped in a cellophane bag which is wrapped with a blue bow.
The preposition wider is used to express the meaning ‘against’ only when it’s contrary to something, eg contrary to wishes, opinions or expectations. The more usual word for ‘against’ - gegen - is used, for example, when teams play against each other or when you lean a ladder against the wall. Do not confuse wider with wieder, which means ‘again’. Spelling is very important here.

Did you know?

In Ulm und um Ulm und um Ulm herum is a German Zungenbrecher - tongue twister. It means 'in Ulm and round Ulm and around Ulm'.

Ulm is an attractive city in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube – die Donau. The Austrian composer Johann Strauss II wrote the well-known waltz The Blue Danube, which is known in German as An der schönen blauen Donau.

Ulm Minster Church and River Danube
Ulm is one of the many towns that lie on the River Danube