In lesson 23.8, ‘Gehst du in die Kirche?’ is translated as ‘Do you go to church?’ How would you differentiate between ‘Do you go to church’ and ‘Are you going into the church’ i.e. attending a Christian religious service on a regular basis vs. walking into the building that is the church? I thought maybe this would be a place where the dative case could indicate the difference.
May 26, 2023
May 30, 2023
Thanks for your question!
Gehst du in die Kirche? can be interpreted as both attending a service regularly or walking into the church building right in that moment. So most of the time, you will likely know from the context, e.g. when having a conversation with someone, which of the two options is meant. Apart from that, there are also other ways to express the same thing but differentiate between the two, for example,
Gehst du gerade in die Kirche? - Are you going into church just now?
Gehst du regelmäßig/oft in die Kirche? - Do you go to church regularly/often?