Summary Chart
Diagnostic Exercises (check if you’ve mastered this topic!)
These exercises cover:

  • Prepositions
  • Strong Verb/Weak Verb Pairs (stehen/stellen etc.)
  • Prepositional
  • You will be asked 20 questions. IF YOU GET A QUESTION WRONG, KEEP TRYING UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT. THE PROGRAM WILL ONLY CALCULATE YOUR SCORE IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS. Incorrect guesses will reduce your score. When you are finished, click “Submit” if you are satisfied with your score. Remember you need a score of at least 80% in order to get a “check” for this assignment.
Practice Exercises
Usage Notes: Two-Way Prepositions Usage Notes: How to say where you are going (an, auf, in, nach, zu)
Usage Notes: How to say where you are (an, auf, bei, in, zu etc.) Other Usage Notes and Examples
Strong Verb/Weak Verb Pairs (stehen/stellen etc.) [Test
questions on prepositions will often involve these verbs!]
Prepositional Verbs
Additional Useful Prepositions (These will not be explicitly tested in 101-231, but are very good to know, especially for listening and reading! )

Summary Chart

Note: As in English, the meanings of the prepositions in German are quite flexible, and very important to know, since these little words come up all the time. As a result, it is difficult to give English equivalents for a list like this. The compromise used below is to give their primary meanings, and to write “etc.” where other meanings occur particularly often.  Try the second of the “Practice Exercises” on this page (Wie sagt man…?) in order to get a feel for how these prepositions can be used in various contexts.

Mnemonic advice: To remember the accusative prepositions, use the acronym “O Fudge” [ohne, für, um, durch, gegen], or ask your instructor about chanting “Durch-für-gegen-ohne-um, Deutsch zu lernen ist nicht dumm.”  For the dative prepositions, sing “Aus-au?er-bei-mit, nach-seit, von-zu” to the tune of the “Blue Danube” waltz, or think of the touching love poem “Roses are red, violets are blue, aus-au?er-bei-mit, nach-seit,
von-zu.” For the two-way prepositions, sing “An, auf, hin-ter, ne-ben, un-ter/?-ber, in, vor, zwi-i-schen” to the tune of the “An die Freude” [“Ode to Joy”] chorus from Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

Contractions: common contractions of the prepositions with forms of der/das/die are included in the table below; where the contraction is in bold print, it is generally (though not always) preferable to the two-word form in speaking and writing; contractions not listed in bold print below are heard
often in informal spoken German, but are less common in writing. Other contractions (e.g. “neben + das = nebens”) are possible, but only the more commonly used ones are listed below.

Accusative Prepositions
Nouns and pronouns following these prepositions will always be in the Accusative
bis as far as, up to, until
durch (durch + das = durchs) through, by means of, etc.
für (für + das = fürs) for
gegen against, etc.
ohne without
um (um + das = ums) around, at [time], etc.
Dative Prepositions
Nouns and pronouns following these prepositions will always be in the Dative
aus out of
außer except for, etc.
bei (bei + dem = beim) at, etc.
gegenüber opposite, across from; in relation to
mit with
nach to, after, according to
seit [time only:] since, for
von (von + dem = vom) from, etc.
zu (zu + dem = zum; zu + der = zur) to, etc.
Two-Way Prepositions
Nouns and pronouns following these prepositions will either be in the  Accusative (<==> Motion) or the Dative (<==> Location)–more details below
an (an + das = ans; an + dem = am) at, to [vertical boundaries], etc.
auf (auf + das = aufs) on, etc.
entlang along
hinter (hinter + das = hinters; hinter + dem = hinterm) behind
in (in + das = ins; in + dem = im) in, to, into, etc.
neben beside, besides
über (über + das = übers; über + dem = überm) over, above, about [topic], etc.
unter (unter + das = unters; unter + dem = unterm) under, among, etc.
vor (vor + das = vors; vor + dem = vorm) in front of, ago, etc.
zwischen between
Genitive Prepositions
Nouns and pronouns following these prepositions will generally be in the Genitive in more formal speaking and writing, but are increasingly often in the Dative in less formal speaking and writing.
(an)statt instead of
trotz despite
während during
wegen because of
[must use Genitive with these: cannot use Dative]
outside of/inside of/above/below
[must use Genitive with these: cannot use Dative]
on this/the other/both side(s) of


  • Accusative, Dative, Two-Way or Genitive?  This exercise just asks you to choose the appropriate case for each preposition.
  • Wie sagt man…? This exercise will help you practice the range of meanings of the prepositions.
  • Motion or Location? This exercise will help you decide whether sentences involving two-way prepositions describe motion or the location of the action.
  • Wo/Wohin? Practice choosing the right preposition to say where you are and where you’re going, and also practice using the appropriate cases with these prepositions.
  • Die Katze und die Maus Practice deciding whether to use dative or accusative with the two-way prepositions in this story about the value of knowing a foreign language 🙂 Note that there are a number of “trick questions” in this exercise to make it more realistic: some of the questions
    involve dative prepositions or accusative prepositions, for whom the motion/location distinction is irrelevant, and a couple of them involve prepositional verbs and adjectives.
  • Filmtitel mit Präpositionen A translation exercise (first half German-English, second half English-German) involving prepositions.  We normally encourage you to think in German and avoid trying to translate literally from the English, but playing with movie titles is fun, so here’s
    an exception.
  • Liedtexte [Song Lyrics] Another translation exercise involving prepositions. And for fun, click on “weiter” at the top after you finish this exercise to see if you can figure out who sang these songs 🙂  Again, we normally encourage you to think in German and avoid trying to translate literally from the English, but playing with song lyrics is fun–especially because of how silly the literal translations often sound 🙂
  • Nach fünf im Urwald This exercise is excellent cumulative practice if you’ve seen this movie.  If you’re a University of Michigan student, you will see this movie in German 221/231, or you can watch it in the Language Resource Center.  It’s always very popular at our 221/231 movie screenings, so you’ll probably enjoy it 🙂

For more practice, please refer to the exercises on prepositions on the “Case Overview” page!

Exercises involving Strong Verb/Weak Verb Pairs (stehen/stellen etc.)

  • Das chaotische Zimmer This is a series of four exercises designed to help you figure out which verb to use, practice the forms of the verbs, figure out which cases to use with the nouns, and finally put together sentences using these verbs.  Please use the “weiter” button to navigate
    between these four exercises.

Exercises involving prepositional verbs and adjectives.

Übungen auf anderen Webseiten

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Usage Notes: Two-Way Prepositions

  • nouns following the two-way prepositions (in, auf, unter, über, vor, hinter, neben, zwischen, an, entlang…) are
  • accusative: MOTION–if the verb is describing a change of location: where someone or something is going or being put.
  • dative: LOCATION–if the verb is describing where something is located or where an action is taking place
  • this can be summarized by the nonsense mnemonic:
    “Accusative-Cruisative; Dative-Stative”
  • Remember the above rule applies ONLY to the two-way prepositions. Nouns following dative prepositions will be dative even if motion is involved (e.g. “Sie geht zum [=zu dem] Arzt” and “Ich komme von der Ärztin”!), and nouns following accusative prepositions will be accusative even if no motion is involved (“Ich singe ein Lied für dich“).
  • When two-way prepositions are used in combination with
    prepositional verbs, they lose their spatial meaning, and so the motion/location distinction no longer makes sense. Instead, you need to learn individually for each prepositional
    verb whether it is followed by nouns or pronouns in the accusative or in the dative. Refer to the page on prepositional verbs for more information.
  • [Some VERY rough guidelines for prepositional verbs with 2-way prepositions: (1) When über means “about,” it is followed by the Accusative: wir sprechen/schreiben/lachen über dich; (2) if in doubt, use the Accusative with these; (3) the most important of the many exceptions to (2): Angst haben vor, arbeiten an, and warnen vor are all used with the Dative]

Here are some examples, with explanations for the choice of case:

Die Studenten sitzen in der Klasse. Location (where are the students sitting? In the class) ==> Dative.
Die Studenten gehen in die Klasse. Motion (where are the students going? Into the class) ==> Accusative.
Wir essen in der Mensa. Location (where are we eating? In the cafeteria) ==> Dative.
Wir essen in die Mensa. Using the accusative would imply that we are eating our way into the cafeteria, as if there were e.g. a huge wall of Sauerbraten blocking our way into the cafeteria (though you would actually have to say “Wir essen uns in die Mensa durch.”)
Der Terminator kommt mit einem Maschinengewehr an meine Tür. Motion (The Terminator is coming to my door) ==> Accusative.
Der Terminator steht mit einem Maschinengewehr an meiner Tür. Location (The Terminator is standing at my door) ==> Dative.
Google sieht in unsere Herzen. Google (which is all-knowing) sees into our hearts ==> accusative.
Google sieht in unseren Herzen. Using the dative in this case would imply that Google is
located inside our hearts (and there it is seeing some things), which we can only hope doesn’t make sense.
Google sieht die Liebe in unseren Herzen. Here the dative is appropriate: Google is seeing the love located in our hearts.
Ein Französischbuch liegt auf meinem Schreibtisch. A French book is lying on my desk ==> location
==> dativeClick here for more information on strong verb/weak verb pairs like stehen/stellen, liegen/legen, sitzen/setzen etc., which are frequently used with two-way prepositions.
Ich lege es in den Kamin [=fireplace]. I put it into the fireplace ==> motion ==> accusativeClick here for more information on strong verb/weak verb pairs like stehen/stellen, liegen/legen, sitzen/setzen etc., which are frequently used with two-way prepositions.
Das Kind springt auf das Bett. The accusative “das Bett” means there must be motion
towards or away from the bed ==> the child is jumping
onto the bed.
Das Kind springt auf dem Bett. The dative “dem Bett” means the action is located on the bed ==> the child is jumping up and down on the bed.  Note that in this case there is motion involved, but since it is not motion towards
or away from the bed, the dative is used.
Justin Bieber rennt vor das rasende [=speeding] Auto. The accusative “das … Auto” means the action is taking JB in front of the speeding car, i.e. there is a speeding car, and JB is running out in front of it into its way ==> bad news for JB and the Beliebers.
Justin Bieber rennt vor dem rasenden [=speeding] Auto. The dative “dem … Auto” means the action is located in front of the speeding car, i.e. there is a speeding car, and JB is running along in front of it ==> if he is running fast enough, he will survive.
Ich schwimme im Meer. By using the dative I am emphasizing the location
where my swimming is taking place: in the sea.
Ich schwimme ins Meer. By using the accusative I am emphasizing where I am swimming to: (out) into the sea.

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Wohin gehen wir?–Where are we going to?: an, auf, in, nach, zu

1. Continents, islands, countries, cities and towns:

a. Normally, use nach for these.

Wir reisen nach Europa, nach Tahiti, nach Deutschland, nach Köln

b. For countries with an article, use in.

Wir reisen in die Schweiz, in die USA, in den Irak, in die Türkei [Also: in die Stadt]

2. Other locations:

a. Use in if you will end up inside a place or location.

Du gehst ins Kino, in die Klasse, in die Kirche, in den Zoo, in die Sauna, in den Park, in die Stadt

b. Use auf if you will end up on something.

Ich gehe auf die Straße, du kletterst [=climb] auf den Berg, die Kuh geht auf die Weide [=meadow], das Kind geht auf die Toilette, wir
fahren aufs Land [=countryside]

Auf is also sometimes used for going to formal events or public places.

Sie geht auf eine Party, auf eine Hochzeit [=wedding], auf einen Empfang [=reception], auf die Post, auf den Markt [but usually: zum Rathaus [=town hall], zur Universität, zur Bibliothek]

c. Use an to describe motion to a precise spot, or to something that can be perceived as a horizontal or vertical boundary (something you would stand at or by in English).

Precise spot: Er geht ans Mikrofon, an den Tatort [=scene of the crime], an die Bushaltestelle [=bus stop], an seinen Platz, an die Kreuzung [=intersection], an die Kasse [=cashier’s desk]
Horizontal or vertical boundary: Sie geht ans Fenster, an die Tür, an die Wand, an den Tisch [“Sie setzt sich an den Tisch”], an die
Grenze [=border], ans Meer, an die Tafel, an den Fluss, an den Rhein, an den Strand [=beach], an den See, an den Zaun [=fence], ans Ufer [=shore], an die Front [in war]

d. Use nach for directions (without an article), and idiomatically in nach Hause. Note: this, and the use of nach for going to cities, countries etc. described above, are the only uses of nach [to mean to]. Learners of German often use nach when they are not sure which preposition is correct, but zu is a much better guess–see (e) below!

Fahren Sie nach links, nach rechts, nach Norden, nach Süden, nach Osten, nach Westen. Gehen Sie nach oben, nach unten. Ich gehe nach Hause.

e. If in doubt, use zu! Zu can replace in if you need not emphasize that you are going inside, and must replace in if it would be absurd to speak of going inside–e.g. driving to a building, visiting a person.  You also need to use zu if you’re going to a particular company’s locale that you’re specifying with a proper name (e.g. Kroger).  An exception to this latter rule is the huge department store chain “Kaufhof,” the reason being that the name contains the word “Hof” [=yard], a space that one can go into.

Wir gehen zum/in den Bahnhof; wir fahren zum/in den Bahnhof; wir fahren zur/in die Stadt; die Straßenbahn [=tram] fährt zum/ins Museum; wir gehen zu/in Peter; wir gehen zur/in die Bäckerei; wir gehen zum/in den Bäcker; zu/in SPAR (a supermarket chain), zum/in den Kaufhof

Zu can also replace the use of auf for formal events and public buildings, and it can replace the use of an generally. Thus, you can usually get by just by knowing zu, the use of nach and in for countries, cities etc. (and of nach for directions), and the use of auf for Straße, Land, Toilette etc.!

Replacing auf: Sie geht zu einer Party, zu einer Hochzeit [=wedding], zu einem Empfang [=reception], zum Bahnhof, zur Post
Replacing an for precise spots: Er geht zum Mikrofon, zum
Tatort [=scene of the crime], zur Bushaltestelle [=bus stop], zu seinen Platz
Replacing an for horizontal boundaries: Sie geht zum Fenster,
zur Tür, zur Wand, zum Tisch [but: sie setzt sich an den/zum
Tisch], zur Grenze [=border]

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Wo sind wir?: an, auf, bei, in, zu etc.

1. Use in, auf and an in the same ways as described under Wohin gehen wir? above; for exceptions, see (2) below.

Du bist im Kino, in der Klasse, in der Kirche, im Zoo, in der Sauna, im Park, in der Stadt
Ich bin auf der Straße, auf dem Berg, auf dem Land; die Kuh ist auf der Weide [=meadow]; das Kind ist auf der Toilette
Sie ist auf einer Party, auf einer Hochzeit [=wedding], auf einem Empfang [=reception], auf der Post, auf dem Markt
Er ist am Mikrofon, am Tatort [=scene of the crime], an der Bushaltestelle [=bus stop], an seinem Platz, an der Kreuzung
Sie ist am Fenster, an der Tür, an der Wand, am Tisch [“Sie sitzt am Tisch”], an der Grenze [=border], am Meer

2a. Nach is NEVER used for saying where you are. Use in for location in continents, countries with or without article, and cities. Use auf for location on an island.

Wir sind in Europa, auf Tahiti, in Deutschland, in Köln, auf Helgoland [an island off Germany’s northern coast]

2b. For location in public buildings, in (and occasionally an) is increasingly used instead of auf, especially in speaking.

Wir sind in der Post, im Rathaus [=town hall], in der Bibliothek [but usually: am Bahnhof, an der Universität]

2c. An is used quite generally to indicate location at or near a place; bei can also be used and is more like “in the vicinity of.”

Sie ist am/beim Bahnhof, am/beim Supermarkt, an der/bei der Bibliothek, am/beim Theater

2d. Bei is used to indicate location in or at a particular person’s or company’s house/locale; it is also used to indicate one’s place of work. If one is working or studying at an academic or otherwise “high-brow” institution, one uses an.

Wir sind bei Hans, wir wohnen bei Inge, ich bin beim Aldi [name of a discount supermarket chain], er ist beim Metzger [=butcher], du arbeitest bei Siemens/bei der Post/bei Hoechst, sie studiert/lehrt/arbeitet an der Universität

e. Zu does not usually indicate location, but it used to. The most important remnant is zu Hause, and there are others, such as “zu Tisch” [=at table].

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Other Notes and Examples

1. You should be familiar with the various common meanings of these prepositions.  Although some aspects of these meanings are reviewed here, you may want to look back at your textbooks/notes from previous German courses to refresh your memory. It’s worth
it: prepositions come up all the time, and are crucial in determining meaning! You can find more info on some of these prepositions in the “Superwörter” pages: um and nach in SW I; während and bei in SW II; zu in SW III; and unter and neben in SW V. Below are a few  more reminders.

2. Für = for generally, but to say for how long something happens, German distinguishes three cases:

2a. The action is completed. Just put the time period in the accusative. Add lang, if you wish.  Do NOT use für.

Wir waren drei Wochen/einen Tag/zwei Jahre/eine Stunde (lang)
in Berlin.

2b. The action began in the past and is continuing. Use seit + present tense.  Do NOT use für.

Wir sind seit drei Wochen/einem Tag/zwei Jahren/einer
Stunde in Berlin.
We have been (and still are) in Berlin for three weeks/one day/two years/one hour.

2c. The action extends into the future. Use für ONLY in this case.

Wir sind für drei Wochen/einen Tag/zwei Jahre/eine Stunde in Berlin. We are in Berlin for three weeks/one day/two years/one
hour. [We are there already, and this is how long we
expect to stay]
Wir werden für drei Wochen/einen Tag/zwei Jahre/eine Stunde nach Berlin reisen. We are going to travel to Berlin for three weeks/one day/two
years/one hour. [This is how long we are planning to stay]

3. Always use ohne for without/with no, never mit kein.

Da ist ein Huhn ohne Kopf! There’s a chicken with no head!

4. Aus = out of. This basic meaning can be extended to describe where one comes from (as in one’s home or birthplace), what something is made of, and occasionally a motive for doing something… To say where one has just been, von is used. Von is also used to say what planet someone is from, and to indicate the author of a book or the creator of a work of art:

Snoopy weigert sich, aus seiner Hundehütte zu kommen. Snoopy refuses to come out of his dog house.
Er isst nicht mehr aus seiner Schüssel. He no longer eats out of his bowl.
Snoopy kommt vom Mars, nicht aus Connecticut. Snoopy comes from Mars, not from Connecticut.
Charlie Brown kommt von London, um zu helfen. Charlie Brown comes from London in order to help.
Er gibt Snoopy einen Mantel aus Katzenfell. He gives Snoopy a coat made out of cat fur.
Snoopy fängt aus Freude an zu tanzen. Snoopy begins to dance for [out of] joy.
Die Peanuts Comics sind von Charles Schulz. The Peanuts cartoons are by Charles Schulz.
Schau ihm in die Augen! Dein Schnitzel stammt aus diesem Tier! Look him in the eyes! Your Schnitzel originates from this animal!

5. Wegen = because of. Unlike weil, da, and denn, wegen is a preposition, not a conjunction. Like because of, it is followed by a noun or pronoun (in the genitive, since it’s a genitive preposition) that gives the reason, not by a whole clause (with a verb) that gives the reason.  In speaking, it is often used with the dative instead of the genitive.

Wegen der Explosion meines Computers konnte ich meine
Hausaufgaben nicht machen.
Because of the explosion of my computer, I couldn’t do my homework. [Wegen ==> the reason given is a noun phrase: the explosion of my computer]
Weil/da mein Computer explodiert ist, konnte ich meine
Hausaufgaben nicht machen.
Because my computer exploded, I couldn’t do my homework. [Weil/da ==> the reason given is a whole clause with a verb: my computer exploded]
Wegen des schlechten Wetters/dem schlechten Wetter sitzen wir zu Hause und spielen Moorhuhnjagd [=formerly very popular goofy video game in which you hunt some dumb chickens]. Because of the bad weather, we are sitting at home and playing Moorhuhnjagd. [Wegen ==> the reason given is a noun phrase: the bad weather]
Weil/da das Wetter schlecht ist, sitzen wir zu Hause und
spielen Moorhuhnjagd [=formerly very popular
goofy video game in which you hunt some dumb chickens].
Because the weather is bad, we are sitting at home and playing Moorhuhnjagd. [Weil/da ==> the reason given is a whole clause with a verb: the weather is bad]

6a. Similarly, vor and nach are prepositions, not to be confused with the corresponding conjunctions bevor and nachdem ==> vor and nach need to be followed by a noun or pronoun, whereas bevor and nachdem need to be followed by a whole clause that includes a verb.  [See “Wohin gehen wir?” above for other uses of nach.]

Die Deutschstudenten sind vor der Klasse ganz aufgeregt.
Die Deutschstudenten sind bevor der Klasse ganz aufgeregt.
The German students are totally excited before class.
Die Französischstudenten rennen schreiend weg, bevor die Klasse beginnt.
Die Französischstudenten rennen schreiend weg, vor die Klasse beginnt.
The French students run away screaming before class
Nach der Wiedervereinigung gab es in Deutschland viele unerwartete wirtschaftliche und soziale Probleme. After reunification there were many unexpected economic and
social problems in Germany.
Beethoven schrieb seine neunte Sinfonie, nachdem er taub geworden war. Beethoven wrote his ninth symphony after he had become
Hochmut [=arrogance] kommt vor dem Fall.
Hochmut [=arrogance] kommt bevor dem Fall.
German counterpart of the English expression “Pride comes before the fall.”
Nach dem Essen sollst du ruhn, oder tausend Schritte
Nachdem dem Essen sollst du ruhn, oder tausend Schritte tun.
Literally, this means: “After the meal you should rest, or do 1000 steps.”  ==> After meals, take a nap or go for a walk.
Nach mir die Sintflut.
Nachdem mir die Sintflut.
Literally, this means: “After me, the flood.”  This is a famous quote (Après moi/nous le déluge),
variously attributed to Louis XV or his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, used idiomatically in German when someone deals with a situation in such a way that it will be OK for him/her, but there is likely to be chaos for
people to deal with later.

6b. When it precedes a time expression, vor means ago:

“Wann fährt der Zug nach Hamburg?” — “Sie haben ihn
gerade verpasst.  Er ist vor zwei Minuten abgefahren.  Der nächste Zug fährt morgen früh um 6:27.”
“When does the train to Hamburg leave?” — “You just missed it.  It left two minutes ago.  The next train leaves tomorrow at 6:27.”
“Wann bist du aufgestanden?” — “Vor fünf Minuten.” “When did you get up?” — “Five minutes ago.”
Vor 87 Jahren brachten unsere Väter auf diesem Kontinent
eine neue Nation hervor…
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation…

7. When über means “about” (as opposed to “over” or “above“), it is always used with the accusative:

Eminem denkt, dass die Leute immer über ihn sprechen. Eminem thinks that people are always talking about him.
Vom History Channel kann man viel über den 2. Weltkrieg lernen. One can learn a lot about the 2nd World War from the History Channel.

8. Nouns and pronouns following the most common genitive prepositions (an)statt, trotz, während and wegen will generally be in the Genitive in more formal speaking and writing, but are increasingly often in the Dative in more informal speaking and writing.

Wegen des Föhns/dem Föhn waren alle schlecht gelaunt.   [Föhn is a notorious weather phenomenon north and south of
the Alps, a warm, dry wind coming off the Alps especially
in Spring and late Winter that gives people headaches and puts them in a bad mood. Meteorologically it is comparable to the Chinook in the Rockies.]
Because of the Foehn wind, everyone was in a bad mood.
Während des Endspiels/dem Endspiel der Fußballweltmeisterschaft
waren die Straßen wir leergefegt.
During the final of the soccer world cup the streets were deserted [wie leergefegt = as if they had been swept empty].
Trotz des Endes/dem Ende der Rezession stieg die Arbeitslosigkeit. Despite the end of the recession, unemployment increased.

9a. The dative preposition gegenüber can precede or follow the noun it refers to.  When gegenüber is used with a pronoun, it must follow the pronoun.  You should put the accusative preposition entlang after the noun it refers to.  You may occasionally see it used before the noun, in which case it actually becomes a dative (or occasionally genitive) preposition.

Das Panorama-Restaurant Loreley am Rhein liegt direkt gegenüber dem Loreleyfelsen.
Das Panorama-Restaurant Loreley am Rhein liegt dem Loreleyfelsen direkt gegenüber.
The Panorama-Restaurant Loreley am Rhein lies directly across from (opposite) the Loreley rock.
Wenn Sie am Fenster sitzen und essen, ist die Loreley Ihnen
direkt gegenüber.
Wenn Sie am Fenster sitzen und essen, ist die Loreley direkt gegenüber Ihnen.
If you sit at the window and eat, the Loreley is directly
across from (opposite) you.
Wenn man im Schiff den Rhein entlang fährt, sieht man viele romantische alte Burgen, und die sagenumwobene Loreley.
[rare:] Wenn man im Schiff entlang dem Rhein/des Rheins fährt, sieht man viele  omantische alte Burgen, und die sagenumwobene Loreley.
If one rides along the Rhine by boat, one sees many romantic old castles, and the legendary Loreley.

9b. Gegenüber can also be used to mean in relation to as in the following examples:

Die Deutschen stehen Multimediahandys skeptisch gegenüber. The Germans are skeptical about multimedia cell phones. [literally: The Germans stand skeptically
in relation to multimedia cell phones]
Die Organisatoren des Robo-Cup
wollen die Scheu gegenüber Robotern abbauen. [This is a competition in which robots play
soccer.  Click here for the RoboCup German Open.]
The organizers of the Robo-Cup want to reduce the apprehensiveness [people feel] in relation to robots.

Warum bist du mir gegenüber immer so aggressiv?

Warum bist du gegenüber mir
immer so aggressiv?

Why are you always so aggressive towards me?

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