Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grammar: dem / den (for dates, weekdays and locations)

Yesterday I got an invite in my mailbox and I realised again, how many people have no clue about this (quite simple) grammar rule. After a couple of years of educating the whole country, Germans finally have understood part of their own grammar. So when you write a letter, it is correct to write:

Berlin, den 13. November 2011 (important: the dot!).

According to modern business correspondance (since 1993!) you can skip the "den" and just put the date.

Berlin, 13. November 2011

Part II was not included in the public education plan. What, if we talk about a certain day of the week and not a geographic location? All the time I see people write "Am Samstag, den 13. November 2011". NOOOOO! It is

Am Samstag, dem 13. November 2011.

German is a tricky language and here is the trick:
If you use the "am", you need "dem" : m -> m.

If you drop the "am", in my humble opinion it does not change anything, but now you will find some language punchers that will tell you otherwise. Okay fine. Samstag dem / den 12. November 2011. But no discussions when you use the "am". Danke! :-)

1 comment:

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