Forum Rocket German German Vocab Die Minister arbeiten zusammen an diesem Entwurf

Die Minister arbeiten zusammen an diesem Entwurf


I have just seen this sentence which means “The ministers as working together on this bill”.
Can you use “auf” instead of “an”?
I am asking, because I know that “an” and “auf” can be used to express “on”.


Hallo RexV,

"To work on something" would be arbeiten an etwas - and never auf. You would only see auf used with arbeiten if you were talking about something other than the object - as in, Sie arbeiten auf Englisch "They work in English" or Sie arbeiten auf der Baustelle "They are working on the construction site." 

This actually ties back to that other thread where we were talking about learning prepositions - it's always much easier to learn prepositions if you memorize them together with verbs or in the context of cases (which will also generally involve learning them together with certain verbs) than it is to learn them by themselves, because it means that you will already know which preposition will naturally fit in a sentence. Plus, it makes all of their possible meanings easier to remember! :)

I hope that this was helpful!




Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your answer.

Should it not be "Sie arbeiten auf den Baustelle"?


Hallo Rex,

The word Baustelle "construction site" is feminine and is in the dative case in this sentence (since there is no motion - see the new Lesson 4.9 for an explanation of when prepositions like auf take the accusative:; this is why its article is in the form of der. Den is the masculine accusative article.

I hope that this clears everything up!

Bis zum nächsten Mal,


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