Dual case prepositions

In German there are some prepositions which take both the accusative and the dative. These are called dual case prepositions.

The dual case prepositions are:

  • zwischen – between
  • an – on
  • in – in
  • unter – under, amongst
  • neben – next to
  • auf – on (top of)
  • über – over
  • vor – in front of
  • hinter – behind

Here is a way to remember them using the initial letters of each preposition:

Two zebras running and dreaming about a plate of hay to depict the mnemonic for dual case prepositions: zebras are in urgent need and usually very hungry.

If you think that only two zebras are in urgent need and usually very hungry, it will help you remember that it’s useful for the dual (two) case prepositions.

Did you know?

Zebras are not native to the German speaking countries in Europe, but they can be seen in their native habitat in the former German colony of Namibia in Africa. German is still spoken in Namibia by about 30,000 people.

In Germany, zebras can be seen in zoos. There are over 300 zoos in Germany. The German words for 'zoo' are der Tierpark (literally: animal park), der Tiergarten (literally: animal garden) or der Zoo.

Austria and Switzerland do not have many zoos, but the bear pit – Bärengraben – in the Swiss capital Bern, is a popular tourist attraction. The bear – der Bär – is the symbol of Bern.

Burchells Zebras (Equus quagga burchellii) drinking water, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Zebras are native to Namibia, which was a German colony between 1884 and 1915