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The German preposition auf. More than 50 useful example sentences.

Mastering the German preposition auf.

A Comprehensive Guide with 50 Example Sentences

The German preposition auf. More than 50 useful example sentences., How Learn German

The German language is renowned for its complex system of prepositions, and “auf” is no exception. While its English equivalent, “on” or “upon”, may seem limited in scope, auf is much more versatile. In this article, we will explore the meaning of “auf” in German and provide 50 example sentences with English translations to help you understand its usage.

What does “auf” mean in German?

Auf is a preposition in the German language that has a broad range of meanings, depending on its use. Primarily, it is used to express a position or location, either physical or abstract.

Here are some of the most common meanings of “auf” in German:

  1. On top of or above: “Die Tasse steht auf dem Tisch.”(The cup is on the table.)
  2. A direction or movement indicating an ascent: “Die Sonne geht auf.” (The sun goes up.)
  3. In a specific period or time interval: “Die Party ist auf Samstag geplant.” (The party is planned for Saturday.)
  4. In a state of readiness or preparation: “Ich bin auf die Prüfung vorbereitet.” (I am prepared for the exam.)
  5. Expressing the idea of being aware of: “Bist du auf die neuesten Nachrichten informiert?” (Are you informed about the latest news?)

Example sentences:

  1. Der Vogel sitzt auf dem Baum. (The bird is sitting on the tree.)
  2. wir fahren auf den Berg. (We are driving up the mountain.)
  3. Der Film startet auf 20 Uhr (The movie starts at 8 pm)
  4. Ich bin auf die Reise vorbereitet. (I am prepared for the journey.)
  5. Der Lehrer ist auf die Schwierigkeiten der Schüler aufmerksam. (The teacher is aware of the difficulties of the students.)

When is “auf” used in German?

“Auf” is used in several different contexts and can have different meanings depending on the situation. Here are some common ways “auf” is used in German:

  1. Location: If you want to indicate that something is placed on top of or above something else, you will use “auf.” For example, “Die Katze liegt auf dem Bett” means “The cat is lying on the bed.”
  2. Direction: If you want to indicate that something is moving upward or above something else, you will use “auf.” For example, “Der Ball fliegt auf das Dach” means “The ball flies onto the roof.”
  3. Time period: When indicating a specific time period, you may use “auf.” For example, “Der Termin ist auf Montag geplant” means “The appointment is planned for Monday.”
  4. State of readiness: If you want to express a state of readiness or preparation, you can use “auf.” For example, “Ich bin auf das Meeting vorbereitet” means “I am prepared for the meeting.”
  5. Awareness: If you want to indicate that someone is aware of something, you can use “auf.” For example, “Ich bin auf deine Bedürfnisse aufmerksam” means “I am aware of your needs.”

Example sentences:

  1. Der Schokoriegel liegt auf dem Tisch. (The chocolate bar is on the table.)
  2. Der Marathonläufer rennt auf den Berg. (The marathon runner is running up the mountain.)
  3. Die Show ist auf den 15. Juli geplant. (The show is planned for 15th July.)
  4. Ich bin auf das Vorstellungsgespräch vorbereitet. (I am prepared for the job interview.)
  5. Der Arzt ist auf die Symptome aufmerksam geworden. (The doctor has noticed the symptoms.)

Tips for using “auf” correctly

As with any preposition, it is essential to use “auf” correctly to avoid confusion or misunderstandings. Here are some tips to help you use “auf” correctly in German:

  1. Pay attention to the context: The meaning of “auf” can vary depending on the context in which it is used, so it is essential to understand the situation in which it is being used.
  2. Use the correct case: The case for “auf” depends on the noun it modifies. For example, if “auf” is used with a masculine noun, it will be “auf dem.”
  3. Understand idiomatic expressions: German has several idiomatic expressions that use “auf.” For example, “auf Wolke sieben sein” means “to be on cloud nine.”
  4. Practice with native speakers: Speaking with native speakers can help you gain a better understanding of how “auf” is used in conversational speech.

Example sentences:

  1. Auf dem Flughafen gibt es viele Geschäfte. (There are many shops at the airport.)
  2. Ich fahre auf den Gipfel des Berges. (I am driving to the top of the mountain.)
  3. Wir treffen uns auf der Party! (We will meet at the party!)
  4. Bist du auf das Bewerbungsgespräch vorbereitet? (Are you prepared for the job interview?)
  5. Ich bin auf die Konferenz neugierig. (I am curious about the conference.)

Common misunderstandings when using “auf”

Misunderstandings can occur when using “auf” incorrectly in German. Here are some common misunderstandings to avoid:

  1. Using “auf” instead of “in”: For example, “Ich gehe auf die Stadt” instead of “Ich gehe in die Stadt” (I am going to the city.)
  2. Using “auf” instead of “an”: For example, “Sie hängt das Bild auf die Wand” instead of “Sie hängt das Bild an die Wand.” (She hangs the picture on the wall).
  3. Confusing “auf” with “aus”: For example, “Ich gehe auf das Haus” instead of “Ich gehe aus dem Haus” (I am leaving the house).

Example sentences:

  1. Ich wohne auf Berlin. (I live on Berlin.)
  2. Der Schüler schreibt die Antwort auf das Papier. (The student writes the answer on the paper.)
  3. Auf der Party essen wir Pizza. (On the party, we eat pizza.)
  4. Ich bin auf das schwierige Quiz vorbereitet. (I am prepared for the difficult quiz.)
  5. Ich bin auf den strengen Lehrer vorbereitet. (I am prepared for the strict teacher.)


In conclusion, the German preposition “auf” has many different uses, which can depend on the context and situation in which it is being used. By understanding the different meanings and following some tips, you can use “auf” correctly and avoid confusion when speaking German. Practice using “auf” in your sentences to master it both in written and oral communication.

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