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Zu vs zum


I understand that “zum” is a contraction of “zu dem”. Is it in a sentence okay to write both “zu dem” and “zum” or would one of them be considered less formal?


I don't think anyone would ever use zu dem.


Hallo RexV and sfpugh!

This is a good question, and it's actually a little more complicated than just always making it zum.

Basically, if we're talking about a phrase where dem is acting as a regular article and zu dem comes before a noun (e.g. Ich gehe zum Schloss "I am going to the palace"), then zu dem is contracted to zum. If, however, we're talking about a more complex phrase where dem is acting as a pronoun (e.g.  Der Mann, zu dem das Schloss gehört "The man to whom the palace belongs"), then it can't be contracted to zum and it must remain zu dem

I hope that this clears everything up!

Bis später,



That's interesting, I hadn't thought about that possibility. Thanks.


Bitte! :) Viel Spaß!

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