Forum Rocket German German Grammar What is the difference between auf vs für

What is the difference between auf vs für

YukoM2

YukoM2

What is the difference between auf vs für ?
70Augsburg

70Augsburg

für always means "for".  auf has a variety of meanings that includes on, to, in, at, onto, upon, toward depending on the verb used and expressions.
Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo YukoM2,

Vielen Dank für deine Frage. 
As AusAugsburg correctly explained, für means for. Ich backe einen Kuchen für meine Mutter. (I'm baking a cake for my mother.)

The preposition auf can mean on, at, to, in, onto or upon. For example:
Ich steige auf das Dach. (I climb on onto the roof.)
Wir gehen auf das Oktoberfest. (We go to the Oktoberfest.)

Certain prepositions go with specific cases (accusative, dative or genitive case). 
Für always makes the following noun an accusative
Auf  is a little bit more complicated. When the meaning is onto or to it goes with an accusative, when the meaning is on, at, in or upon it goes with a dative case.

You can find a whole lesson on prepositions like these on Level 3, Language & Culture lessons (Module 20) of Rocket German. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Leah von Rocket Languages
sfpugh

sfpugh

Hallo Leah
Why do use auf  in your example  "We go to the Oktoberfest"?
Why not  Wir gehen zum Oktoberfest?
I find choosing the right preposition very tricky.
Simon
sfpugh

sfpugh

Whilst we are on accusative versus dative, how about this from level 2, 9.1
"Ich war mit einer Freundin im Kino.
I went to the movies with a girlfriend."

Why im here, if you went to the cinema isn't that motion towards? So why not ins Kino?
Doesn't what is written imply that you were simply at the cinema, or is this a case of "that's just how Germans say it"


 
Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Guten Tag Simon, 

on your first comment: You could translate to with zum here. In Germany, we tend to use auf  for special events. Example:
"Wir gehen auf eine Party."
"Ich gehe auf die Kirmes (= fair)."
"Er geht auf das Fest."

But you could also say:
"Wir gehen zur Party."
"Ich gehe zur Kirmes."
"Er geht zum Fest."

On your comment on Level 2, 9.1: A more literal translation of "Ich war mit einer Freundin im Kino." would be "I was at the movies with a girlfriend."- Im here means at. 
However this translation does sound slightly odd in English, which is why we went for the less literal, but better translation.

To translate the sentence "I went to the movies with a girlfriend." more literal you could say in German: "Ich ging mit einer Freundin ins Kino." - However that in turn would sound a bit odd to a German. 

So yes, basically it is a case of "that's just how Germans say it" ;)

Liebe Grüße, 
Leah von Rocket Languages

 
sfpugh

sfpugh

OK, thank you for the explanation Leah. Do think that adding the literal translation in brackets would help, as has been done for some other confusing phrases in the course.

In fact one of the weaknesses of the course is that there are quite a few instances where free translations are given without any indication that this has been done. 
Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo Simon, 

thanks for the suggestion. In fact we are currently in the process of reviewing Rocket German. We'll definitely take your feedback into account.

Liebe Grüße, 
Leah von Rocket Languages
sfpugh

sfpugh

OK thanks Leah. Another topic I found very confusing was modal particles.
I know that the use of modal particles is an advanced topic and not suitable fro beginners but on the other hand they crop up frequently in levels 2 and 3.
 
I think ja and denn are the most frequent, I was very confused by them as they didn't seem to be required for the meaning of the sentences. Then I found and "Easy German" video about them on youtube.

It would be nice if a way could be found to at least let people know what is going with out unbalancing the course with such an advanced subject.

A couple of examples
Das ist ja interessant.
Worum geht es denn?
Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Danke für dein Feedback, Simon.
I will forward that to our Product Development team as well. 

Bis bald, 
Leah von Rocket Languages
YukoM2

YukoM2

thank you for explanation. however, the problem is that i have to keep coming here to ask specific questions. why not explain the grammar for why things are the way it is for each lesson? that way, we have the conversation, the grammar is explained, and I dont have to keep coming here to get my answer. 

what this app lacks is explanation for why things are done the way it is. for lesson 2, for example you have to go go module 6 to get an explanation. how are we supposed to know that? and even in module 6, it's not explained in terms of the conversation.

in the beginning, all was good, but now im getting so frustrated with this app that i dont even want to go on with the lessons. It jumps from easy to difficult very quickly and im scratching my head here. 

No use if all the app wants us to do is memorize the conversation. I need to know why it is the way it is. for that, at the moment, I have to go out of the app and search and/or come to this forum to ask. i find that ridiculous. total waste of my time and energy. 

the whole purpose of getting an app or course is that t's all there in one package. I hope you fix this. i would have asked for my money back but it's past the 60 days so i can't. my friends have asked me about your courses and i tell them i dont recommend purchasing it. 

in any case, please look into this. it's a fundamental flaw and something so basic that a language course should have. im surprised it wasn't taken into consideration. 
YukoM2

YukoM2

Also u say You can find a whole lesson on prepositions like these on Level 3, Language & Culture lessons (Module 20) of Rocket German. 

How would I have known that without you telling me? Why does it jump to Module 20 for lesson 3? There should be an explanation for every lesson in terms of the conversation we are learning. 

 
70Augsburg

70Augsburg

Two comments, one specific and one general.

1. Specific - I came across an expression where auf can also mean "for".  That is when it is used with the verb warten so the translation of auf warten is "to wait for".

2. General - There are so many nuances in the grammar of a language, it is next to impossible to blend them simultaneously into a course focused on learning conversation and building vocabulary.  It is best to either bookmark a German grammar site or several, for example, one for prepositions and another for particles (which I found to be very challenging) or purchase a book like Lwngenscheidt's "German Grammar in a Nutshell" which I also keep handy.  Another advantages of doing these things is that if later in the course you need to reference or brush up on something you come across in grammar, you don't have to search through the course to find it.
Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Leah-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo YuKoM2, 

many thanks for your feedback on the course. I will forward this to our Product Development team, who are currently working on improving the course's structure and content. I'm sorry to hear you are currently not happy with the course. 


Hallo Flakkaseren, 

thank you for sharing your way of learning with us! 
On your specific question: that is, in fact, true - the expression "warten auf" can be translated with "to wait for". Like in English there are certain verbs in German that require a specific preposition. Those cases have to be learnt by heart - because these phrases often differ from the literal translation into English. Another case would be "sich interessieren für" - "to be interested in".

Hope that helps. 

Liebe Grüße, 
Leah von Rocket Languages

 

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