Forum Rocket German German Grammar Expressing movement in German

Expressing movement in German

Paul-M10

Paul-M10

When talking about movement, do the terms "in die Stadt" and "zur Stadt" express the same idea? If not, what is the difference? Thanks
Byron-K21

Byron-K21

That's a pretty interesting question. I never thought too much about it. I'm guessing that you know that zur is a contraction for "zu der", so what we are talking about is the difference between saying I'm going to the city versus I'm going in the city. Literally, in English, "to" would mean going up to, but not in, i.e. stopping at the edge of the city limit. Of course, no one really interprets it that way. So, I did some browsing and saw articles that said both versions in German are correct. However, I also saw an article that says the interpretation is a little different between Austrian and German. The Austrians, it seems take a more literal interpretation of "to" as in you go to the school but not actually in the school. What does our native speaker, Paul, say?
Paul-M10

Paul-M10

Thanks. Yes, I understand the contractions. I've been away from the language for several years, but am thinking about another trip, so I'm trying to "knock the rust off" with RG. It seemed to me to be the same basic idea, with perhaps a slightly different meaning, depending upon context. For me, it's a little simpler using the dative contraction, rather than the accusative, since, when using the accusative, you must consider all three articles, but when using the dative contractions, you narrow the choice down to two. It may seem like a small thing, but I got curious about this after I started studying the language again.
Marvin-W

Marvin-W

I believe it is a matter of connotation determined in the mindset of the person using the expressions. I see it as "I am going to town" as an ambiguous statement with not much meaning to the person to whom he is speaking which might lead the hearer to ask "Why?". Conversely, "I am going in town" implies a specific reason and place the speaker has in mind and that those to whom his is speaking automatically know the reason for his going. I guess I go more by gut feeling of implications and connotations rather than dative contractions and/or accusatives but that's just me.
Marvin-W

Marvin-W

Paul, I didn't want to address two issues in the same message, so will now use this message to ask my question. Are you native born and raised German, or second generation American brought up speaking the language of your parents? A couple of remarks in your above answer, ie, "thinking about another trip; knocking the rust off", as well as your deciding to study the language again, have me in question. Nothing prompts this question other than curiosity; no offense intended. It just helps me understand the bio of the person behind Rocket. I know of no other place to reference the folks that apparently run this program.
Paul-M10

Paul-M10

Thanks for the explanation...this makes sense to me now.

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